Card Sfeir urges international community not to abandon Lebanon
by Youssef Hourany
Maronite patriarch is concern about terrorism's revival. He urges the Lebanese to continue believing in dialogue as the only way out of the current crisis. Saad Hariri accuses Syria of launching a terrorist war against Beirut. Walid Jumblatt calls on the secretary of the Arab League to stop Damascus.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – Concerned by renewed terrorism, Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir in his Christmas message urged the Lebanese to continue believing in dialogue as the only way for the country to come out of its current crisis. Similarly, he urged the international community not to abandon Lebanon but to help it shed light on the recent spate of violence.

Expressing fears and hopes, his message invites Christians "to read the signs of the time" and is confident in a religious revival amongst the people.

Terrorism cannot "be part of Lebanon's traditions, which is instead based on mutual understanding and dialogue, the only and necessary way to save the country from the current crisis," he writes.

The patriarch goes on to say that Christmas is a celebration for those who are modest and poor. He tells everyone that it is necessary to convert as "the only sure way that can give meaning to the festivity".

In fact, the Lebanese are getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus in cold weather and economic crisis. Many will not be able to take part in the festivities. Hence, Patriarch Sfeir concludes his message inviting decision-makers to take care of the needs of the many, reiterating the Church's support for any initiative that would lead the country out of its crisis.

Whilst the patriarch is concerned with rebuilding the country's soul, in Beirut the break with Syria is getting bigger.

Murdered Prime Minister Rafik Harari's son Saad accused Syria today of having launched a "terrorist war to overthrow democracy in Lebanon".

For his part, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt called on the Amr Moussa, secretary of the Arab League, to go to Damascus to stop political murders in Lebanon. He also accused Syria of "terrorising" the Arab countries.

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