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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid