04/10/2007, 00.00
LEBANON
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Hope and the internal crises in the spiritual leaders Easter reflections

Patriarch Sfeir invites politicians to “sow the seeds of reconciliation and peace”, the Metropolitan affirms that Lebanon’s resurrection “can only happen with the unity and solidarity of its people”, the Armenian Aram I urges a “resolution today, tomorrow may be too late”.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – The internal crises, the need for reconciliation, peace and respect for human rights: these were the central themes of the leaders of Lebanon’s Christian Churches this Easter.  

The Maronite Patriarch, card. Nasrallah Sfeir, during his homily asked political leaders to “sow the seeds of reconciliation and peace” and to respect human rights.  Sfeir urged the Lebanese to “remember that they are brothers though they have different religious, social and political affiliations”. “The Lebanese people have the same fate – he added -  ... no one can be happy at the expense of the other, nor can one suffer because of the other”.  “We have endured enough suffering and we are still suffering ... we hope that the resurrection of Jesus lifts us from the crises we are plunging into in order to recover security and prosperity”.

Speaking during an annual Mass held at Bkirki to express thanks to and friendship with France, Sfeir said that the European nation had “helped Lebanon achieve its sovereignty, independence, freedom and prosperity”.

“Our country – said the Orthodox archbishop of Beirut, Elias Aoude – is bleeding under the eyes of distracted leaders.  Don't we know that if we lose our country we will never recover it?”. “Lebanon's resurrection from its pain can be achieved through the unity and solidarity of its people,” Aoude said.

For his part Aram I, bishop of Beirut of the apostolic Armenian Church denounced “the erosion of democracy”. “Today – he said – we don’t see one united Lebanon, but two.  And “the persistence of the situation will lead to the country disappearing altogether”.  “We must find a solution today, for tomorrow may already be too late”.

The Maronite bishop of Jbeil, Bechara Rahi, warned that there are people who allow themselves to be corrupted by “their thirst for money and power”, thus “selling their people and their country short”.

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