Refugees Archives - Crux



  • Despair, joy, defiance, and resignation all abound in unique Lebanon

    Despair, joy, defiance, and resignation all abound in unique Lebanon

    In many ways, Lebanon is unique in the Middle East. Christians are a robust 35 to 40 percent of the population, and the country has long had a tradition of power-sharing to make co-existence possible. The country is also, however, surrounded by chaos, and right now the strain of a very large refugee population is pushing both the government and the Church’s resources to the breaking point, which could unleash consequences no one can foresee.

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  • Lebanese Church pioneers integration amid mounting native/refugee divide

    Lebanese Church pioneers integration amid mounting native/refugee divide

    Faced with a stunning influx of 1.5 million Syrian refugees in a country whose population was only a little over four million to begin with, Lebanon is struggling to avoid fracturing along native/refugee lines. In the campaign to promote integration between the two groups, few social forces are as active as the Catholic Church, as both a school and a free meal service in the city of Zahle illustrate.

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  • Meeting Middle East Christians is where Western stereotypes go to die

    Meeting Middle East Christians is where Western stereotypes go to die

    Many Westerners express sympathy for Christian victims of the genocide conducted by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, but might find actually listening to them a surprise. They’ll challenge Western stereotypes on at least three fronts: Syria’s Assad is a bad actor and must go; Hezbollah is part of Jihadism Inc. and a threat to Christians; and today’s most profound refugee crisis is in Europe.

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  • As some Middle East Christians struggle to stay, others make hard choice to go

    As some Middle East Christians struggle to stay, others make hard choice to go

    Magida Yaacoub is one of thousands of Syrian Christian refugees in Lebanon, living in an entirely Christian village near the border with Syria. Although she acknowledges they’re now physically safe, the constant threats of Islamic extremism, a lack of job opportunities, and the precariousness of their situation have driven her and her husband to a hard choice: As much as they love the land of Christianity’s birth, it’s time to leave.

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  • On Sunday, in a refugee camp, I failed at doing my job

    On Sunday, in a refugee camp, I failed at doing my job

    On Sunday, my Crux colleague John Allen and I visited a Syrian refugee camp on the outskirts of Zahle, Lebanon, that’s home to 500 Muslim refugees who arrived here six years ago. My job was to document the site and the conditions using a brand-new, high-end camera, but I largely failed because the infectious joy of the children at the camp over having their pictures taken and photo-bombing one another got in the way.

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  • Why all of us have a rooting interest in seeing Lebanon succeed

    Why all of us have a rooting interest in seeing Lebanon succeed

    Lebanon’s a small place, home to just over six million people, but it’s a living laboratory experiment for three of the world’s mega-challenges today: Pluralism, with perhaps the most resilient and certainly most nationally influential Christian population in the Middle East; Christian/Muslim relations, with the good, the bad, and even the surreal; and the refugee crisis, with more new arrivals per capita than any place on earth.

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