ASIA/LEBANON - Houses for Muslims built on the lands belonging to Christians. Sectarian balance at risk

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - An urgent reminder to curb the misuse of land belonging to Christians in order to build housing for the Muslims was launched on Monday, October 14 from Talal al- Doueihy, leader of the Movement "Lebanese Land, our Land". The appeal - refer Lebanese sources contacted by Fides Agency - was addressed to state institutions and all political and Christian religious leaders during a conference convened in Beirut in particular to denounce the recent case of Al- Qaa, a Christian village near Baalbek in the area where large tracts of land have been bought by Muslims - Shiites and Sunnis - as agricultural land, only to be allocated to the building of housing estates to be sold to Lebanese and Syrian refugees belonging to their own religious community.
The appeal of Movement leaders aims to firmly enforce the law and call everyone to watch on a phenomenon that contributes to upset the delicate Lebanese demographic and confessional balance jeopardized by the mass influx of refugees who fled from Syria.
Across the Country there are outbreaks of clashes due to problem regarding land. Last week, in the Christian village of Alma (district of Zghorta) residents had complained that the Muslims of the area of al- Fuar had begun to build houses without permission. Already at the end of August, the same Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai had called Christians to limit the sale of their property to avoid jeopardizing the demographic-confessional balance. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 15/10/2013)