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Crisis and terrible port explosion don't weaken faith of Christians in Lebanon


It's been nearly two months since the explosions submerged Lebanon in a social and economic crisis still more serious than what it was before.

The country's stability is fundamental in a region plagued by all sorts of conflicts. That's why it's essential not to abandon the people of Lebanon to their fate.

JUMANA TRAD
President, Promoción Social Foundation
“The people are in a state of shock. They've lost their houses, their lives. Many people are wounded. They've lost their jobs. Three hundred thousand people are homeless right now. Eight hospitals—four of them Catholic—have been destroyed. One hundred forty schools have been completely destroyed as well.”

The “Stand Together” project and Rome Reports Premium organized this virtual conference with Jumana Trad, from the Promoción Social Foundation.

She explains that logically, Lebanese Christians are discouraged after so much pain, but that their faith remains intact.

JUMANA TRAD
President, Promoción Social Foundation
“I've had the opportunity to talk to many people who have lost everything. Everyone tells me the same thing: 'Thank God we're alive, and thank the Blessed Mother it wasn't even worse.' Some of these people have lost a husband, a son or everything. It's evident that the country continues to have faith, and that the people want to maintain this way of living together.”

Now, one of the challenges is rebuilding the country, for which hope for the future is necessary

JUMANA TRAD
President, Promoción Social Foundation
“What is happening now in Lebanon, after this explosion, is that many Christians are saying it's too much and that they prefer to leave the country for the good of their children. Thanks to the Church in Lebanon, and practically all the Middle East, education is one of the country's strengths, and it's important to maintain it, so kids can continue to attend school.”

Lebanon is a welcoming country of coexistence, with religious freedom for the 18 recognized religious professions. It's one example in the Middle East that can't be lost because it shows that understanding is possible.

JUMANA TRAD
President, Promoción Social Foundation
“There are many conflicts that have been manipulated at the level of religion. It's very important for the country to continue to give a different example, to show that there are people who want to live together—that there are Christians and Muslims who understand each other. There's an ecumenism and an interreligous dialogue between the two religions, that is lived out every single day.”

The Promoción Social Foundation is a development NGO that has been present in Lebanon since 1991. In response to this new emergency in the country, the organization has launched three projects for people in need of aid. They include buying respirators, rebuilding three churches and restoring a center for the formation of women.