A global network of evangelicals is urging its members to pray for Christians in Lebanon who are facing a "perilous time" as fighting continues between the Lebanese army and the Islamist militants.
Whenever Sunnis and Shiites fight each other, Christians and Jews suffer enormously, noted the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA)'s Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) in a recent bulletin to its members, primarily because Islamic fundamentalist zeal flares up.
The commission went on to highlight the dilemma facing Christians, which was succinctly put by Lebanon's Maronite Catholic leader, Archbishop Beshara Rai of Byblos.
"If the Sunnis and Shiites agree, their agreement would come at the expense of the Christians," Rai stated. The archbishop believes that Sunni and Shiite leaders wanting to minimize intra-Islam conflict will seek to unite the Muslim sects against a common "enemy" – Israel, Christians, the United States and U.S.-backed regimes – to advance the common goal of Islamization.
"And if they disagree, the Christians become their victims," Rai added.
Islamist militants fired Katyusha rockets at Lebanese villages on Friday, according to one of the latest reports by Reuters, and security sources are informing media that the military death toll now stands at 10 with 35 soldiers wounded. So far 218 people have been killed in the conflict between the army and the Islamist militants.
The RLC is urging for prayers specifically for:
• God to use the turmoil to deliver many people from darkness, opening their ears and hearts to the gospel and drawing them close to Himself.
• the Holy Spirit to give great spiritual wisdom, understanding and courage to all Lebanon's Christian leaders – religious, political and social – so that they will be united and enabled to lead according to God's will and for His glory.
• the comforting presence of Jesus Christ to be known by faith and experience by all Lebanon's Christians, bringing peace, love, joy and revival to the Church.
• God to protect His children, meet their needs, and preserve His Church.