Beirut – “Lebanon is currently suffering from a crisis that is damaging its social fabric, in a context characterized by a gradual increase in poverty, inflation, loss of jobs, growing food insecurity and social tensions. Furthermore, due to a new wave of Covid 19, the government has applied a drastic lockdown which is bringing the population to its knees”. This is what Father Raphael Zgheib, Maronite priest, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Lebanon, told Agenzia Fides, speaking of the difficult situation in the Middle Eastern country.
The general situation is worsened by the anti-government protests that have characterized recent months, causing strong social tension. The alert is high in particular in the north of Beirut and in Tripoli, which in recent days, has experienced a violent clash between protesters and the police. Fr. Raphael remarks: “The social burden has become too heavy for the people. The Tripoli area is poor – he says – yet the State has not intervened on a social and human level. This leaves a very strong feeling of discomfort”. There is also the threat of terrorist groups. “Precisely in this area – reports the National Director of the PMS – a cell of the so-called Islamic State was discovered which was preparing attacks against the Lebanese army”.
In this scenario, we note the heartfelt request of the main representatives of the Lebanese Christian and Muslim communities to the political class, so that it undertakes to find a way out of the crisis, and to give the country a government of ‘national salvation’.
“This is a historic occasion to start a dialogue of peace – explains Fr. Raphael. Regional political interests should be left aside to build a neutral country in order to serve the interests of the nation. We hope – he concludes – that all the suffering we are experiencing today can be a seed of hope from which a new Lebanon can be born, on solid and lasting assumptions”.
Source: Agenzia Fides