A Lebanese Christian says she feels proud to be from the land of Jesus Christ. Mireille Elrahi a Christian who grew up in Lebanon asserted that despite conflicts have struck the region; religious minorities specially the Christians need to be strengthened in order to preserve the heritage of Middle East.
Elrahi said that in the entire region, Lebanon has been safe haven to largest number of Syrian refugees- about one and half million. She went on to say that after every few years conflicts strike the region. Lebanon continued to provide shelter to the refugees suffering from the conflicts. She explained that after World War I, thousands of Armenians flooded Lebanon escaping genocide. After the World War II, Palestinian refugees, Iraqis and Syrians were welcomed in Lebanon.
“Lebanon has been a country of refuge from the beginning because it is a country that was created and conceived through the reception of other peoples,” she said. She said that the land is unique in a way that is home to people to various creeds.
“I think Lebanon can be an example, maybe even a role model. Both Muslims and Christians are represented in Parliament and in the government. There are Christian deputies and Muslim deputies. There are Christian political ministers and Muslim political ministers.” She said that Lebanon can serve as an example to other countries in Middle East; where Christians are not treated as second class citizens.
“If the other countries in this zone leave a little bit of space for these minorities, perhaps these Christians will stay because they are valuable; they are the most peaceful part.” Elrahi asserted that the presence of Christianity is much needed in the region, nonetheless intense persecution has driven them out of the region.
“Christ came from there, from the Middle East, therefore we can say that we are the original Christians. I am proud to be a Christian in the Middle East. I am Arabic, yes. I speak in Arabic, but it does not mean that it is Arabic like those of Saudi Arabia. Arabic does not mean Muslim.”
She referred to Scriptures saying that Lord Jesus himself performed a miracle in the region of Tire and Sidon which is south of present-day Lebanon. She said that Apostles Peter and Paul preached to the people of this region, which means that Christian presence in this land is as old as Christianity itself.