President Aoun: “Lebanon is going to be a Global Center for the dialogue among Religions and Civilizations”

President General Michel Aoun confirmed that “the Christian presence in Lebanon and in the East, is not based on wars nor on the imitation of the modern life, however the Christian must return to its deep origin as the depth and core of Christianity are in the heart of the man as it shines to the outside.” Then he asked: “Jerusalem was the Land that addressed the world and preached of peace and love, then should it be what it is today? Is it believable to become homeless, us who lived in this area and transmitted civilization to Europe and the World?”

President Aoun considered “that the situation in Jerusalem has many political aims one is which to deplete it from Christians and divide the area to several microstates pointing out that “immigration from the East started a long time ago namely from Israel where Jerusalem’s Christians originated-22% form 1% of the population nowadays. In other cases, especially as what happened in Syria and Iraq and sometimes in Kenya and Libya as well, where a group killed Christians and Muslims and equally destroyed Churches and Mosques.”

Aoun revealed that Pontiff Pope Francis “is well informed on the situation in the Middle East as he expressed concerns and always seeking to help Christians. In this regard, he considered measures of aid while we explained to him that we are still at risk and in danger, and we also updated him on the status of the Christians’ presence in the Middle East as he expressed his wish to visit Lebanon. The reason behind his curiosity and his visit to Lebanon is helping; Pope Francis asked: “What can I do to help?”

The President insisted on “that Lebanon can be a Global Center for the dialogue among Religions and Civilizations, consequently to its inclusion of religions and worldwide doctrines where his people live in communal living.” He shed the light that to reach this goal, “we need to try to adopt lobbying even if we suggested this issue to the United Nations, at least we can get its approval. We would like to declare it, however it is not enough, as we want Lebanon to be an Official Global Center for Dialogue, not for it to be just a One-State Initiative.”

He added: “we might disagree politically, some might think that the conflict is Christian-Muslim based, yet in fact it is totally the opposite. Additionally, no Muslim fought so that Christians will forcibly convert to Islam, and the opposite is utterly true. In this regard, we should make the world understand that we are still enjoying the highest level of civilization from the perspective of Freedom of Belief and the Right to Differ, which might sometimes come to us in a chaotic manner more than any other country in the world.”

The President’s speech was addressed in an interview held by SAT 7 TV Channel on the occasion of the upcoming Easter when he considered that “Resurrection is what we all wish for after death, as it is Christian Hope anchored to Faith; as Saint Paul says: without Resurrection, there would be no Christianity.”

When asked about the feeling of many people namely Christians of Lebanon and the Middle East if his Presidency created hope and faith for them, President Aoun declared “that the Lebanese people’s modern history experienced difficult circumstances, explicitly lately when it got from bad to worse, insisting that the Lebanese knows who I am as I call for deliverance from this situation abovementioned. Accordingly, General Aoun want to deliver us as he is spur of this knowledge.”

Addiyar – Translation of Anna Maria Hbayter from the Arabic version extracted from Tayyar