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When I needed a neighbour…

Maureen Jack highlights the response of churches in Lebanon to the Syrian refugee crisis.


IMAGINE what it would be like if, within the space of a few years, one and a half million people arrived in Scotland seeking refuge. That is what has happened in Lebanon: that number of Syrian refugees has arrived in a country not much bigger than our Highland Region and with a local population smaller than ours.

There are some in Lebanon who are unhappy at the loss of low-paid jobs and cheap housing to the refugees. Add into the mix the fact that it’s not many years since Syria and Lebanon were in conflict. Add in too the fact that virtually all of the Syrian refugees are Muslim, while roughly a third of the Lebanese people are Christian. Despite this, the churches in Lebanon are responding magnificently.

In April/May, after participating in an Embrace the Middle East supporters’ tour to Lebanon, I stayed on to see some of the work of Church of Scotland partners, the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL) and the Joint Christian Committee (JCC); I spent a day each with Mary Mikhael of NESSL and Sylvia Haddad of JCC.

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In this month's issue ‘OKAY GOD, YOU WIN’ The Case for Christ on the silver screen 'IT’S HERE. IN OUR TOWNS, OUR CITIES AND IN OUR COMMUNITIES' Dr Pat Cairns and the shocking truth about human trafficking REMEMBRANCE Special Prayer from the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland GUILD 2017 Reports from the Annual Gathering in Dundee Plus much more