In Easter messages, Catholic patriarchs of the Middle East evoked the hope of the Resurrection.
“Today’s world needs the resurrection of hearts,” said Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai, patriarch of Maronite Catholics. He called for a rekindling of love and compassion.
Cardinal Rai prayed for the displaced and the abducted to return to their homelands and for wars to end in Syria, Iraq, the Palestinian territories and Yemen, consolidating “a just, comprehensive and lasting peace” in the region.
He also warned that Lebanon’s difficult economic, social and living conditions threatened to destabilise the country’s internal steadiness. He said he hoped Lebanon’s parliamentary elections on 6th May – the first such elections since 2009 – would “bring responsible and conscious statesmen.”
Of Lebanon’s existing population of nearly 4 million, approximately 40 per cent are Christian. Under the country’s power-sharing system, Lebanon’s president is a Maronite Catholic, its prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the speaker of parliament a Shi’ite Muslim.
Picture: Syrian children are seen inside an informal settlement for refugees in Bar Elias, Lebanon. (CNS photo/Jamal Saidi, Reuters).