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» 03/28/2011
LEBANON
Bomb against church in Zahle as fear of a resurgence in terrorism grows in Lebanon
The blast occurred overnight on Saturday against Our Lady Syro-Orthodox Church in Zahle, in the Bekaa Valley. A few days ago, a group of Estonian cyclists was abducted in the same area. “It is the beginning of a new series of attacks,” says Amin Gemayel.

Beirut (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A terrorist attack was carried out against the Syro-Orthodox Church of Our Lady of Zahle overnight on Saturday. Just after 4 am, a 2-kg device with TNT, nails and pieces of metal, exploded in front of the church’s main entrance, devastating the interior as well as parked cars and nearby houses. A man, Assad Bechara, was wounded when some pieces of glass struck his legs. Benedict XVI was probably referring to this and similar episodes yesterday, during the Angelus, when he said, “Finally, my thoughts turn to the authorities and citizens of the Middle East, where in recent days there have been several incidents of violence, so that the path of dialogue and reconciliation be privileged in the search for a just and brotherly coexistence.”

The attack did not discourage the faithful however, who took part in the Sunday morning Mass celebrated by Mgr Boulos Safar, the Syro-Orthodox bishop of Zahle, on the damaged parvis of the church.

The Minister of Culture, Salim Wardy, some members of the National Assembly, the local security chief in the Bekaa as well as the president of the Syriac League in Lebanon took part in the function.

In his homily, Mgr Safar said, “This attack is a message to undermine security in Lebanon”, but the “Church will not close its doors, whatever the consequences.”

Many take the abduction of a group of Estonian cyclists near Zahle a few days ago and this attack as a sign that terrorist groups are back in action.

Outgoing Minister Elie Marouni said it was a message, whilst Amin Gemayel, historic leader of the Phalange, said he feared the Zahle bomb was just the beginning of a new series of attacks.


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See also
09/11/2008 LEBANON
Aridi attack an attempt to sow discord among the Lebanese
08/02/2006 ISRAEL – LEBANON
War to continue till international force's arrival, says Olmert
08/04/2006 LEBANON - ISRAEL
Israel strikes Christian cities north of Beirut
by Youssef Hourany
05/08/2008 LEBANON
Beirut on the brink of another civil war
by Paul Dakiki
06/06/2007 LEBANON
Army enters Nahr el-Bared, first terrorists surrender

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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