Christianity’s roots run deep in Lebanon, with a rich and diverse population that includes Maronite and Melkite Catholics and Antiochene and Syriac Orthodox Christians. The country is also home to a significant number of Armenians, most of whom arrived during the persecution of Christians in Ottoman Turkey between 1915 and 1918.
Lebanon remains a welcoming safe haven for those who have fled war and persecution — and in our own day that means Christians who have sought refuge from the regional warfare raging in Syria and Iraq, including the brutal onslaught of ISIS.
With an economy in tatters, tens of thousands of Lebanese are reported to leave the country every year; most are students or young professional Christians seeking better economic opportunities. But increasingly, a significant number of Lebanese are finding themselves edged out of the labor force by refugees willing to work longer hours for lower wages. This, too, is contributing to the local exodus.