Lebanon

Lebanese cardinal warns against ‘new drums of war’ in Syria

A Syrian firefighter used a fire hose inside the destroyed Scientific Research Center April 14 in Damascus. The United States, France and Britain launched airstrikes in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad for an apparent chemical attack against civilians and to deter him from doing it again.

BEIRUT — Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai appealed to world leaders to stop the war in Syria and to work for comprehensive peace through diplomatic means.

"As the great powers are beating the drums of a new war against Syria, we regret the absence of a language of peace from the mouths of senior officials in our world today," said Cardinal Rai, patriarch of Maronite Catholics, in an address April 12 directed to the international community.

‘We are bridge builders’: Maronite Catholic youth gather in Lebanon

Young people clapped during the World Maronite Youth Days July 19 in Beirut. The July 15-25 event, organized by the Maronite Patriarchate Youth Pastoral Office, followed the World Youth Day model.

BEIRUT — They came from around the world, from Australia, South America, Europe and the United States. Some came from Africa, and some from nearby countries in the Middle East.

They clapped and ululated, creating a celebratory atmosphere as nearly 500 young people from other countries joined 1,000 Maronite Catholic youths from Lebanon for World Maronite Youth Days.

After years in war zone, burnout rises among those who serve Syrians

Ramzi Abou Zeid, regional coordinator for Caritas Lebanon, checked on the distribution of winter clothes for 16 Syrian refugee families Jan. 4 in Zahle, Lebanon. In all, 150 refugee families who live in Zahle are being assisted by the coordinated distribution.

TORONTO — Humanitarian aid workers in Syria and Lebanon are exhausted, said Helene Tremblay-Boyko, who recently traveled to the region.

It isn't the exhaustion a person feels at the end of a long day, she said. This exhaustion comes from working in the same desperate conditions as the people they serve.

"We do not know here (in Canada) what is going on there," said Tremblay-Boyko, vice president of the Development and Peace national council. "They need peace. They need to be able to start rebuilding their lives. We need to do everything we can to enable a peace accord."

Christian town along Lebanese-Syrian border mourns, vows to defy fear

Farha Nasrallah, widow of Boulos Al-Ahmar, stands with her 3-year-old daughter on the front steps of St. Elias Melkite Catholic Church in al-Qaa, Lebanon, July 10. Her late husband was driving an ambulance to the scene of explosion when more bombs went off.

AL-QAA, Lebanon — Boulos al-Ahmar had just driven the ambulance to the scene of the explosion when more bombs detonated, killing him. When Majed Wehbe heard the first explosions near his home, he ran to the scene to help, only to arrive in time for the next set of explosions.

These men died as heroes, unafraid to run toward disaster to help others, and their Christian village wants to honor their memory by shunning the fear these explosions were designed to instill.

Lebanon's Catholic leaders call for dialogue amid region's instability

BEIRUT -- Lebanon's Catholic leaders urged their people to work toward dialogue and to reject violence and war.

In a statement following their annual meeting in early December, members of the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon expressed their concern about "the repercussions of bloody events in the region, especially in Syria," and the impact on Lebanon's "internal unity and our security and civil peace" as well as its effect on the economy, trade and tourism.

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