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    » 09/12/2012, 00.00

    VATICAN - LEBANON

    Vatican slams anti-Muslim provocations, cites pope's positive example in Lebanon



    The head of the Vatican Press Office condemns the "unjustified offense and provocations against the sensibilities" of Muslims caused by a movie mocking Muhammad. Such actions "nourish tension and hatred, unleashing unacceptable violence." In Lebanon, Benedict XVI wants to build coexistence among believers. A meeting in Beirut's Museum Square is held to welcome the pope.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - A "Profound respect for the beliefs, texts, outstanding figures and symbols of the various religions is" needed "for the peaceful coexistence of peoples," which is what Benedict XVI wants to do with his visit to Lebanon this week-end, said Fr Federico Lombardi, Vatican Press Office director, in response to the violence caused by a second rate US movie that mocks Muhammad.

    In reaction to the latter, a group of armed men attacked the US consulate in Benghazi killing the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three of his staffers. The US Embassy in Cairo was also attacked yesterday.

    "The serious consequences of unjustified offense and provocations against the sensibilities of Muslim believers are once again evident," Vatican Press Office chief Federico Lombardi said in a statement. "The reactions they arouse" can sometimes have "tragic results, which in their turn nourish tension and hatred, unleashing unacceptable violence," he added.

    Once more, the incident accentuates tensions in the Muslim world just a few days before Benedict XVI's visit to Lebanon. For some, this, the war in syria and tense relations between Iran and Israel, was bound to postpone the papal trip; however, for Fr Lombardi, the visit is instead a model for coexistence among believers.

    For the Vatican spokesman, Pope Benedict XVI's three-day visit to Lebanon starting on Friday would bring a "message of dialogue and respect for all believers of different religions."

    Indeed, his peaceful message indicates "the path that everyone should follow in order to construct shared and peaceful coexistence of religions and peoples."

    AsiaNews' correspondent in Lebanon confirms that Christians and Muslims are waiting for the pope.

    Tonight in fact, Muslims and Christians will come together for a vigil prayer in Beirut's Museum Square in honour of Benedict XVI's visit.

    Musical bands will play and a Muslim will read from the Gospel and a Christian will read from the Qur'an.

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    See also

    12/09/2012 LIBYA - UNITED STATES
    US ambassador killed in Benghazi attack
    Three staffers are also killed. Bodies have been flown to Tripoli before leaving for a US military base in Germany and then stateside. Suffocation was the cause of death. An Islamic group claimed responsibility for the attack.

    13/09/2012 LEBANON - VATICAN
    Patriarch Rai: pope calling for peace in Syria, anti-Islam movie offends everyone
    For the head of the Maronite Church, Benedict XVI comes as a witness of peace in the Middle East, demanding governments, interested parties and mercenaries to stop buying and using weapons. Together, Christians and Muslims can build for a real Arab Spring. The movie that denigrates Muhammad is an insult to all religions. It is unclear who the director and producer are.

    22/09/2012 LIBYA - ISLAM
    Young Libyans attack Salafi militants base
    The people, tired of the violence and armed gangs, burned the headquarters of Ansar al-Sharia, the group suspected of killing U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. The population refuses to accept the militia oppression or imposition of a fundamentalist Islam.

    14/05/2013 LIBYA
    Benghazi in revolt against Islamists following deadly attack
    The attack targeted a hospital and destroyed several buildings: death toll continues to rise. It is the first act of violence against civilian targets after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. Thousands take to the streets to demand an end to the government and the expulsion of the Islamist militias. The Pentagon sends 500 marines to the NATO base in Sigonella (Sicily, Italy).

    08/01/2013 LIBYA
    Libya, Msgr. Martinelli: the Coptic Orthodox and all Christians are not a target of extremists
    For the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli the attack against the church of St. George in Dafniya is the result of social unrest sweeping the country. The Coptic community celebrates Christmas without any more threats.



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