The Maronite Catholic bishops have urged Lebanon to maintain neutrality in the face of current conflicts in their region, the Fides news service reports.
The statement from the Maronite bishops obviously refers most pointedly to the conflict in neighboring Syria. The bishops added that caring for the thousands of refugees from that civil war who have found their way to Lebanon is a “national duty.”
Damascus (Agenzia Fides) – “One lives an apocalypse in Damascus, and we hope with all our heart, mind and strength, that resurrection may soon arrive”: is what is said in a message sent to Fides Agency by His Exc. Mgr. Samir Nassar, Maronite Archbishop of Damascus.
In the dramatic testimony sent to Fides, the Archbishop said: “Since Tuesday fighting has been raging in Damascus with heavy weapons, tanks and helicopters, in a city full of civilians. The destruction is enormous. What an ordeal!
The clashes are taking place in the streets and moving from one district to another. I cannot sleep for fear and for the noise of bombs and gunfire. The temperature is above 40 ° and often there are power outages. There is insufficient supply in many areas, we are short of bread, vegetables, cooking gas and fuel for the furnaces. The population is terrified and does not know where to take shelter. The roads to Jordan, Iraq, to Aleppo and the north area of Homs are closed. You see a long snake of people fleeing on the road to Lebanon: an exodus that occurs in the general panic.” Turning to the displaced of Damascus, the Archbishop says: “I hope you find a home, remembering that in the past, the Syrians welcomed the Palestinian, Lebanese and Iraqis refugees.”
Mgr. Nassar continues: “the few faithful who had the courage to come to Mass lit many candles at the tomb of the Blessed Martyrs of Damascus. They exchanged greetings and tears, in fear of seeing each other for the last time, before returning home between gunfire and explosions.” The violence that has torn the other cities of Syria had been spared in Damascus: “Now it is our turn to suffer and die. We have just built a shelter under the stairs, to escape the bombs and the cellars of the parish have been cleared up. It is an apocalypse: we hope that resurrection arrives soon, after much suffering.”
Obama’s Muslim adviser blocks his meeting with persecuted Maronite Christian leader…
(AINA) — An influential Muslim adviser to the White House who has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood has succeeded in canceling a meeting between President Obama and the leader of the persecuted Maronite church in Lebanon, according to the Beirut news agency el Nashra.
The report said the move heeded a request by top leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt who want the U.S. to back the Islamist Sunni movement opposing Iranian Shiite influence in the region.
Maronites number about 1 million in Lebanon and more than 10 millions worldwide. About 1.5 million are in the U.S.
Along with her role on the White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Mogahed is a member of the advisory council of the Department of Homeland Security. She has testified before the Senate on engagement with the Muslim community. She is senior analyst and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, where she led major surveys of Muslims worldwide that routinely concluded the vast majority of Muslims are moderate.
Mogahed was a leading voice in the Leadership Group on U.S.-Muslim Engagement that issued a 153-page advisory report calling for dialogue with Hamas and engagement with opposition parties in Egypt, including the Muslim Brotherhood.