LEBANON: Aoun sounds alarm bell, says Christian presence in Middle East under threat

BEIRUT – Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Monday stressed the importance of continued Christian presence in the Middle East to ensure diversity, openness, and tolerance in the cradle of three monotheistic religions. “The whole world is called upon to protect the Christian presence to contribute in confronting extremism, isolation, and the clash of cultures and civilizations, which has taken on violent and alarming forms.” said President Aoun. President Michel Aoun himself is a Christian Syriac Maronite.

Aoun made his comments in a meeting at his Baabda residential palace with the new head of the Coptic Orthodox Community in Lebanon, Fr Timon al-Suryani. Aoun recalled the hardships Eastern Christians have been subjected to over the past years, and that this has increased their determination to hold on to their land, identity and role in humanity.

During the meeting, Fr Timon al-Suryani (‘the Syriac’) explained the vital role of the Coptic community in Lebanese social life. He wished for Lebanon to return to stability and quickly achieve a way out of the difficult circumstances the Lebanese people are going through.