FOX News | Nina Shea | Nov. 16, 2019
Lebanon’s 1 million to 2 million Christians face dire threats as their country hurtles toward economic collapse and political anarchy.
Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Protestants are now at risk of disappearing in Lebanon – following the desperate flight of most Iraqi and Syrian Christians this century.
Lebanon is disintegrating under the grand-scale corruption of its political class, and the corrosive effect of Iranian proxies acting as a state within the state.
In a depressingly familiar pattern when order breaks down in the Middle East, Christians are targeted. This point was underscored Monday in turbulent northeastern Syria, when ISIS assassinated an Armenian Catholic priest and his father.
The Trump-Pence administration deserves credit for elevating religious freedom as a major foreign policy concern, and for making the protection of vulnerable religious minorities a national security priority.
The U.S. now needs to turn to Lebanon – not with troops or more aid, but with vigorous diplomacy.
Since Oct. 17, protests in Lebanon have raged against corrupt political elites and the Hezbollah terrorist group. This mass uprising can lead to a dangerous state of prolonged national chaos. But it also offers unprecedented hope for reform – if U.S. diplomatic leadership responds to protesters’ demands and helps them shed their country’s status as a gangster-governed, Iranian “client state.”