Syriac Maronite Patriarch Al-Rai to Lebanese political class: Hands off Lebanon and its people

BETH KERKE, Lebanon — During a sermon in Beth Kerke (Bkerke), Lebanon, Syriac Maronite Patriarch Mor Bechara Butros al-Rai admonished Lebanon’s political class for its inability to address the country’s numerous and worsening crises.

“You have turned the joy of Lebanon, its people, the beauty of its nature, and its rich resources, into great mourning,” he said. “You have filled it with poverty, hunger, deprivation, and displacement. You have displaced the Lebanese people from their homeland.”

The Patriarch indicated that Lebanese officials reject any advice from friendly countries that are keen on Lebanon’s stability and the election of a president, claiming that this is an interference and an insult to their dignity.

“Friendly countries want to protect Lebanon from corrupt officials who will drag it into destruction,” he said. “They also want to save the Lebanese people from the selfishness, pride, and failed projects of their officials.”

Patriarch al-Rai noted that the Lebanese people want to live in coexistence in a homeland where political officials would ensure a good life for all by electing an honorable and effective president for the country. This would allow regular constitutional life to return with a parliament that forms a legislative body and a legitimate government with full powers.

“Lebanon is not your property but rather belongs to the people,” stated the Patriarch. “The Lebanese people are not spoils in your hands but rather enrich Lebanon. Thus, keep your hands off Lebanon and its people.