July 07, 2016
During a recent talk at a Cincinnati parish, Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi reflected on the present situation and future prospects of Christians in the Middle East.
“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the origin of the Middle Eastern problems,” said Patriarch al-Rahi, 76, who has led the Lebanon-based Eastern Catholic church since 2011. “The separation between religion and state for both Judaism and Islam is one of the basic conditions for a permanent political solution in the region. ”
Stating that Lebanon, a nation of four million, now hosts 1.5 million Syrian and 500,000 Palestinian refugees, the cardinal patriarch called upon Muslim nations and religious leaders to denounce the Islamic State and the international community to end arms sales to terrorist groups.
“Instead of encouraging Christians to leave the Middle East, they should be helped to remain in their countries,” he said at the conclusion of his July 1 talk.