Poverty in Lebanon Increases Appeal of Islamic Extremists to Young People

Image is a 2015 photo depicting Islamic State fighters. (Wikipedia)

As Lebanon collapses, scores of young people join the ranks of extremist groups. At least 48 young men disappeared from Tripoli in recent months. Families believe they’ve joined the Islamic State in nearby Iraq.

Associated Press reports that between 70 and 100 young men have disappeared from Tripoli, with a notable uptick tracing back to August. Five Lebanese were among the Islamic State militants killed by Iraq’s military in late January.

“One of the big factors with the crisis in Lebanon is a lot of people not feeling like they belong in this country anymore,” David* from the prayer ministry Cry Out Now says.

“It seems crazy that they would go to something like a terrorist organization, but I guess there’s a sense of belonging.”

Lebanon’s corrupt leaders and economic failure are the roots of instability and dissatisfaction. The GDP fell by $33 billion between 2018 and 2021. Today, poverty affects roughly 75-percent of the total population.

“Lebanon has been extremely divided for a very long time. [It has] always been very diverse; lots of different religious groups [with] different Christian sects and different Islamic sects,” David says, describing Lebanon’s complicated power-sharing structure.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray God will raise up honorable leaders in Lebanon. Pray these leaders will put a stop to corrupt practices and greed.
  • Pray the Lord will help believers encourage and disciple all who are searching for truth. Pray people will turn to Christ as they find answers and hope in Him.