1 July, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 03/24/2009
LEBANON
Islamic-Christian celebration to honour the Virgin Mary, symbol of national unity
On the occasion of the Feast of the Annunciation, Lebanon’s government launches a joint Christian-Muslim celebration in honour of Mary who is venerated in both communities. In the square in front of Lebanon’s National Museum a statue of Our Lady will be erected surrounded by a crescent. The initiative might be extended to other countries.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – Tomorrow 25 March will be the first “Islamic-Christian Day” in honour of the Virgin Mary, L’Orient-Le Jour reports today in an article signed by Fady Noun, who notes that the new festivity will fall on the Feast of the Annunciation of Mary according to the Christian liturgical calendar.

“Together around Mary, Our Lady,” is the title chosen for the celebration, which will be more of a national event than a religious one. At present it is not a statutory holiday but it could become one in “the near future, in addition to traditional celebrations of the Annunciation.”

“It will make the Virgin Mary, who is revered by Muslims and Christians alike, a factor of unity among Lebanese of every faith,” the French-language daily wrote.

The final decision, which was three years in the making, came on 13 March in a meeting of the Lebanese cabinet.

The idea of making the Virgin Mary a symbol of a joint Christian-Muslim celebration came to Sheikh Mohammad Nokkari, general secretary of Dar el-Fatwa, or ‘House of Decree”, during Annunciation celebrations at Jamhour College.

Emir Harès Chehab and Mohammad Sammak, who co-chair the Islamic-Christian National Dialogue Committee, welcomed the initiative as did Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

Beirut Mayor Abdel-Monhem Ariss responded positively to a demand by the initiative’s promoters to erect a statue of Mary in front of Lebanon’s National Museum. The square where the statue will be located is actually a major intersection and might be renamed in honour of the Virgin Mary. The statue itself would “reproduce a stylised Virgin Mary surrounded by a crescent moon,” Islam’s symbol par excellence.

A religious ceremony is scheduled for tomorrow in the chapel of Our Lady College in Jamhour, during which “Christians and Muslims will be able to pray together to the Virgin Mary.”

In addition to prayers, there will be songs, psalms, sacred music, testimonials, readings, as well as audio and video tapes.

Sheikh Amr Khaled, one of the Arab world’s most important preachers, will attend the ceremony. Mgr Salim Ghazal, chairman of the Commission for Islamic-Christian dialogue of the Assembly of Maronite Patriarchs and Bishops, will also be there.

Organisers, according to the Lebanese paper, hope that their “initiative will lead to more.

Contacts have already been made so that next year “similar ceremonies could be held in six other countries, namely Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Poland, Italy and France.”


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
02/19/2010 LEBANON
Beirut, "national" Islamic-Christian holiday in the name of the Annunciation of Mary
by Fady Noun
03/25/2010 LEBANON
Lebanese Christians and Muslims celebrate the Annunciation together in the name of Mary
10/13/2008 NEPAL
Nepalese Muslims "happy" to celebrate feast together with Hindus
by Kalpit Parajuli
07/14/2009 LEBANON
Leading Muslim cleric promoter of Islamic-Christian dialogue quits
by Fady Noun
05/26/2006 LEBANON
Five thousand take part in the 'Asian Women Pilgrimage' to Our Lady of Lebanon
by Youssef Hourany

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.