ASIA/LEBANON - Religious leaders pray for peace: terrorism in the name of God is "a sign of the end times"

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 prayer  

Harissa (Agenzia Fides) - Terrorism carried out in the name of religion is "a sign of the Times" that testifies "the approach of the Day of Judgment". And the discord traps scattered by those who use Islam to justify their violent plans of domain are "satanic". These are some of the strongest expressions uttered by some of the senior representatives of 16 Christian, Muslim and Druze religious communities, who on September 20, took part in a prayer meeting in Lebanon to invoke together the gift of peace, joining the appeal that was addressed by Pope Francis last Sunday, in view of the international interreligious meeting held yesterday in Assisi.
The Lebanese ceremony, organized with the active commitment of the ecclesial Commission for Justice and Peace, was held at the foot of the statue of the Virgin Mary, in the Marian shrine of Harissa, which every year, on March 25, becomes the center of the festivities of the Annunciation, celebrated together as a national holiday by Christians and Muslims.
In a Country in the grip of a devastating political and institutional crisis, Church leaders and all the national religious realities highlighted the importance of harmony and shared vision regarding the condition experienced in this historical phase by Lebanon and throughout the Middle East. Brief interventions - by Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai - and invocations for peace were interspersed with chants to the Virgin Mary and Byzantine hymns. Even an Islamic choir – reports the Lebanese press – interpreted a hymn to Mary taken from the popular Maronite repertory. The leaders of church and religious communities - including Shiite sheikh Ahmad Abdel Amir Kabalan and the Druze representative Sami Aboul Mouna - at the end of the ceremony together recited a common prayer for peace. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 21/09/2016)