ASIA/LEBANON - The President of Caritas Lebanon: organized chaos in the Middle East also kills charity

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - "Some time ago a Lebanese bishop tried to collect money to help Syrian refugees. Well, he did not manage to collect any money. People said: enough, we do not want more help. For many people, aid to Syrian refugees has become grounds for accusations and reproaches with regards to the work carried out by Caritas".
This is how the Maronite priest Paul Karam, President of Caritas Lebanon, describes to Fides Agency the gradual disappearance of the Lebanese sense of human solidarity and charity toward Syrian refugees also caused by the renewed fighting in the Bekaa Valley between anti-Assad Syrian militants and forces of the national army. "Among the people" says Fr. Karam "many repeat: 'we welcomed them, and they have betrayed us. Now we do not want to help the Syrians'".
The humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon is likely to become yet another collateral victim of conflicts and events that are spreading fear among the Lebanese population. In the background there is always the threat of a Lebanon infected by the Syrian conflict and the fear that the Country of Cedars will become the territory of conquest for jihad groups like the Islamic State and the Frente al-Nusra, linked to al-Qaida network. The border between Syria and Lebanon has been repeatedly crossed by the incursions of jihadi groups, and al-Nusra threats to execute nine Lebanese soldiers and policemen held hostage in retaliation for the pro-Assad involvement of Lebanese Shiite militia of Hezbollah in the Syrian conflict.
Father Karam, spoke at the emergency summit on the Middle East these days in Rome and draws attention to the contradictions and ambiguities that mark the attitude of the international community and especially of some Western powers faced with the convulsive developments in the Middle East. "Obviously", notes the Lebanese priest "someone follows out the plan to reshape the Middle East by fomenting the creation of micro-states on ethnic-religious basis.
According to Father Karam, also a way of addressing the plight of Christians and other minorities fit into the plans aimed at overturning the current Middle East framework: "The new Middle East drawn from these strategists of chaos" noted the President of Caritas Lebanon "is a fragmented region and always drowned in ethnic-religious conflicts, where there is no place for Christians. What makes one think is the fact that the United States and other Western nations move swiftly to grant visas and permits for asylum to Christians with preferential procedures. But we do not accept this. We will never allow to be treated as guests in a land that is also ours". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 18/09/2014)