CROWN OF THORNS: Pope calls ‘grave sin’ weapon imports into Syria as he visits Lebanon


CROWN OF THORNS: Pope calls  ‘grave sin’ weapon imports into Syria as he visits Lebanon
by Darius Kadivar

Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Lebanon with a peace message, saluting the Arab Spring and calling for an end to the conflict in neighbouring Syria. (Source:

Pope Benedict XVI in Lebanon's capital Beirut :

PHOTO :  A poster decorates a street near Mohammed Al-Amin mosque in Beirut, Lebanon. Pope Benedict XVI will begin a three-day visit to Lebanon on Friday. The poster in Arabic reads: ‘I give you my peace.’ Pope Benedict visits Lebanon amid Syria war with security low-profile after all groups react positively to visit. (Reuters) 

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Pope Benedict arrives in Lebanon to bring a message of peace:

Pope Benedict arrives in Lebanon on Friday to bring a message of peace to a region torn by civil war in neighbouring Syria and strained by violent Islamist protests against the United States in Libya and Egypt.






Pope Visits Lebanon Amidst Turbulent Time for Arab Christians (VOA, Sep 12, 2012) :

Pope Benedict XVI begins a three-day visit to Lebanon on Friday, the first in 15 years by a Roman Catholic pontiff. It comes at a time of increased tension for Lebanon's Christians, who make up roughly one third of the country's population. Paige Kollock reports from Beirut.

(Video courtesy: VOA video)


Christian Syrian families seek asylum in
Lebanon (Aug 3, 2012 by AlArabiya) : 

As cities of Damascus and Aleppo entered into the confrontation where the Christians demographic weight is at its most, the number of Syrian Christian families displaced to Lebanon is increasing significantly.


Christians on Syria's border wary of 
future (May 10, 2012 by AlJazeera English):

Syriac people in southeast Turkey have strong ties with relatives and fellow Christians across the border in Syria.

In the ancient Assyrian city of Midyat, Christians say they fear their community could endure what Christians in Iraq suffered when the country fell into violence and chaos.

Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught reports from Midyat.






Pope Benedict XVI visits Lebanon as 'pilgrim of peace' (bbc)

Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Lebanon with a peace message, saluting the Arab Spring and calling for an end to the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

His three-day visit marks the first papal trip to the country in 15 years.

During his stay, the pontiff will meet politicians and leaders from Lebanon's 18 religious groups. Christians make up 40% of the country's population.

The trip comes as Lebanon - including the Christian community - is deeply divided over the conflict in Syria.

On his flight to Lebanon, the Pope told reporters that Syrian arms imports were a "grave sin".

He also called for an end to the conflict there, saying fundamentalism was "always a falsification of religion".

The pontiff described the Arab Spring as "a desire for more democracy, for more freedom, for more cooperation and for a renewed Arab identity".

A small crowd of dignitaries and cheering supporters with banners greeted Pope Benedict at Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut.

He was welcomed by Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman with a 21-gun salute, and with church bells ringing out around the country.

The Pope told President Suleiman he was visiting the country as a "pilgrim of peace".

"Let me assure you that I pray especially for the many people who suffer in this region," he said.

"The successful way the Lebanese all live together surely demonstrates to the whole Middle East and to the rest of the world that, within a nation, there can exist cooperation between the various churches and at the same time coexistence and respectful dialogue between Christians and their brethren of other religions."

'Country of resistance'

Correspondents say the Pope is expected to express his concern about the dwindling Christian presence in the Middle East.

In Iraq for example, tens of thousands of Christians have been driven from their homes by sectarian violence.

The BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut says the pontiff will find a very different Lebanon to the one his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, saw in 1997.

The assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005 led to the end of Syria's long occupation of the country, an event which was swiftly followed by the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.

Hezbollah - a Shia group - is now the power behind the government but Syria remains the defining issue in Lebanese politics, our correspondent says.

Political parties are divided into pro- and anti-Syrian camps and the violence across the border is increasingly pitting Shia and Sunni Muslims against each other in Lebanon.

In addition to the conflict in Syria, recent controversy over a film deemed to be offensive to the Prophet Mohammed has raised tensions in the region ahead of the Pope's visit.

There were reports as the Pope arrived of hundreds of protesters setting alight a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in the northern city of Tripoli.

The film, The Innocence of Muslims, believed to have been made by a Coptic Egyptian Christian in the US, has sparked protests across the Middle East and led to the death of the US ambassador to Libya.

Signs welcoming the Pope have been put up along the main airport road into Beirut, including banners erected by Hezbollah reading "Welcome to the country of resistance".

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Of course Darius... Of course

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That is basically part of the plan! After being kicked in the butt by Lebanon, the God of Israel , is into it this time to win! How can everywhere be under these unrests but the Lebanon?  That's basically politic 101 !!!

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