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Dear prayer partners,

On Friday 10 September, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati and President Michel Aoun signed a decree forming a new government comprising a 24-member cabinet, in the presence of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. With the government now formed, Parliament will soon convene to issue a vote of confidence for the Mikati administration.

Lebanon has been without a government since August 2020, when Prime Minister Hasan Diab’s government resigned in the wake of the devastating Beirut port explosions. Since then, two government formation attempts have failed – one under Ambassador to Germany Mustafa Adib, and the second by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Mr Mikati was appointed on 26 July, soon after previous Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri’s resignation.

Lebanon faces a severe financial crisis which has resulted in the Lebanese pound losing more than 90% of its value to the dollar and inflation has soared. This crisis has led to fuel, medical, and electricity shortages, which has triggered numerous security incidences, and forced at least three quarters of the population into poverty. The protracted economic and political uncertainty, amid the global challenges of COVID-19, has paralysed Lebanon. The World Bank has characterised it as one of the planet’s worst economic crises since the 1850s. Mr Mikati, in his address to the press, said: “The situation is very difficult. But it’s not impossible if we unite as Lebanese. We have to put our hands together. We are all going to work together, united with hope and determination.”

Lebanon is home to over six million people – of whom an estimated 33% profess to be Christian (the highest percentage of Christians in any Arab country) – making it a highly strategic nation. The estimated 61% Muslim population is divided almost evenly between Sunni (30.6%) and Shia (30.5%). What happens in Lebanon deeply affects its neighbour, Syria and the estimated 1.5 million refugees it hosts, as well as the larger region. Since last year’s blast, despite their own needs, believers have actively demonstrated Christ’s love to both Lebanese and refugees alike, offering hope and creating “beauty from ashes.”

Please join us in praying for Lebanon.

“Intercessory prayer might be defined as loving our neighbour on our knees.” (Charles Bent)