News / Middle East

Pope, Lebanese Leaders Call for Religious Peace

Pope Benedict XVI (L) shakes hands with Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman as he arrives at Baabda Presidential Palace near Beirut, September 15, 2012.
Pope Benedict XVI (L) shakes hands with Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman as he arrives at Baabda Presidential Palace near Beirut, September 15, 2012.
VOA News

Pope Benedict is calling on Lebanon to be a model of peace and religious freedom in the tumultuous Middle East.

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church met with Lebanese officials and religious leaders Saturday at the presidential palace in Beirut, where he was met by cheering crowds.

The pope said Christians and Muslims in Lebanon have shared the same space for centuries and that families often have members of both religions.  He asked, "If this is possible in one single family, why would it be impossible at the level of the society as a whole?"

One of the Lebanese leaders at the meeting, Sheikh Mohammad Rachid Qabbani, gave Pope Benedict a letter saying he considers any attack on a Christian an attack on all Muslims.

During a speech to young people late Saturday, the pope also expressed sympathy with youth in Syria.  The pope said he admired their courage, adding this is a time for Christians and Muslims to come together "so as to put an end to violence and war."

Earlier, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman also spoke about Syria, gripped by 18 months of fighting between government forces and rebels.  Mr. Suleiman said Lebanon would continue to care for Syrian refugees and wished the Syrian people would attain freedom and democracy through dialogue and other peaceful means.

Upon arrival in Lebanon Friday, the pope said he has come to the region as a "pilgrim of peace."  The trip comes days after deadly Muslim protests in the region, triggered by a film produced in the United States mocking Islam's leader, the Prophet Muhammad.

Pope Benedict says he never considered canceling his trip to Lebanon because of security concerns brought on by violence in the region.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
September 15, 2012 8:25 PM
Clearly, Becket1, the cheering crowds which have met him, the thousands of people, Muslim and Christian, have not found him "abominably useless" as you suggest. Your immaturity and lack of historical background is on full view. The positive influence from numerous popes over the centuries, and especially this past century, is well documented. In contrast, you positive influence appears woefully lacking.

by: Becket1 from: Asheville, nc
September 15, 2012 8:17 AM
The Pope is meeting with Muslim leaders! Christians did that a century or five ago. Will someone yank this Popemobile back to Vatican City? Honestly, the Pope is abominably useless at this time.
In Response

by: john Loehndorf from: Canada
September 15, 2012 9:09 PM
People like you are the reason why the world is in this state it is..

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs