- Dec 8, 2019
A two-day gathering of Christian minority leaders, academics and U.S. officials will focus on helping the Middle East Christians and other targeted groups by first promoting security and stability in Lebanon, where millions of Christian and non-Christian refugees have fled wars in their home countries of Syria and Iraq.
Lebanon is a message of freedom and an example of pluralism for East and West, according to Christian and Muslim leaders who met in the country for a conference. “Lebanon sends a message of hope to the Arabs and to the world,” they wrote in a statement.
Thousands of faithful from the Middle East as well as Lebanese diaspora from around the world joined Cardinal Bechara Rai for the Mass and recitation of the rosary on occasion of the “Lebanon Day in Fatima,” which this year commemorated the centennial of the apparitions.
The president of Caritas Internationalis, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, says that the global refugee crisis is “a complex problem,” but that must not get in the way of recognizing the positive results of welcoming them. The cardinal met with a group of more than 100 Caritas Lebanon staff and volunteers who left a mark in the lives of those displaced by war and famine.
The Caritas Lebanon’s center in Zahle, close to the Syrian border is addressing the needs of more than 150 refugee families who live there. As the weather gets colder the situation of the more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon becomes more uncertain.
Nativity scenes in public places in Lebanon demonstrate the harmony between Christians and Muslims living in the country. Even though war and persecution plague the Middle East, Lebanon manages to remain a peaceful island of co-habitation and collaboration.