Lebanon’s Christian President: Estimated 1.5 Million Syrian Refugees Must Go Home

Members of Secours populaire, a French non-profit association deliver food aid to Syrian refugees in the village of Al-Aqibiya near Sidon in Southern Lebanon on June 6, 2016. / AFP / MAHMOUD ZAYYAT (Photo credit should read MAHMOUD ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images)

The estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a quarter of the population that has allegedly been used to fuel the Muslim-majority status of the once predominantly Christian country, should start returning to Syria, argues the Lebanese president, noting that the regions from which they hail are “now secure.”

“We don’t want to wait for their voluntary return,” declared Lebanon’s Maronite Christian President Michel Aoun, speaking alongside French President Emmanuel Macron in France on Monday, reports the Associated Press (AP).

President Aoun argued that the United Nations assistance devoted to aiding Syrian refugees in Lebanese “camps of misery” would be better used to return them to Syria “from now on.”

Marking the world’s highest concentration of refugees per capita, an estimated 25 percent of Lebanon’s population of nearly 6.2 million is now made up of Syrians.

This year, Dr. Fouad Abou Nader, the leader and founder of the Liberty Front (LF) Christian party in Lebanon, told Breitbart News that the influx of Syrian refugees had contributed significantly to Christians losing their majority status in his country.

Once a majority, Lebanese Christians now comprise only about 40 percent of the country’s population, Breitbart News learned from Mr. Talal al-Doueihy, the founder of Lebanese Land-Our Land Movement.

Dr. Nader noted that a law implemented by Muslim leaders in Lebanon “naturalized hundred of thousands of foreign Muslims” to ensure Islam adherents make up the majority of the population.

Established by France in 1920 after the instigation of Christians, Lebanon was intended to serve as a sanctuary for persecuted religious Christians in the Middle East.

However, Christians have lost most of their lands and majority status to Muslims due to low birth rates among their followers and a refugee wave, placing their future in the country in peril.

Nevertheless, the country’s largest religious groups continue to share power in Lebanon: the speaker of parliament is a Shiite, the prime minister a Sunni, and the president a Christian.

French President “Macron distanced himself from his counterpart’s viewpoint, saying that the absence of a political solution in Syria prevents refugees from returning back home permanently,” notes AP.

Dr. Nader told Breitbart News that the wave of Muslim refugees coming into Lebanon, namely those from Syria and the Palestine region, is fueling “a deadly demographic imbalance” to the detriment of Christians.

“Their [Muslim refugees] presence creates a lot of problems for Lebanon, its economy, its development, its growth, its security, its borders, its demography, its political stability, its religious balance, etc.,” said the Christian party leader.

Predominantly Muslim Syria and Palestine border Lebanon. On top of the estimated 1.5 million Syrian, at least another 550,000 Palestinian refugees have traveled into Lebanon in recent years.


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