BEIRUT: Maronite bishops Wednesday saluted the Lebanese Army’s sacrifices in combating terrorism, and pressed opposing politicians to extend total and exclusive support to the military institution battling takfiri militants from Syria in the eastern border town of Arsal.
In a statement issued after its regular monthly meeting, the Council of Maronite Bishops headed by Patriarch Beshara Rai, also underscored the urgent need to elect a president “in order to reinstate democratic practice in Lebanon as well as its role among the world’s nations.”
The bishops expressed “full confidence” in the military institution, and called upon “friendly states” to extend the military and logistics support needed to enable the army to confront rampant terrorism.
The Council deplored attacks by Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS, against churches and Christians in Iraq's Mosul that forced thousands of Christian families to flee their homes and seek shelter in the Kurdish enclave or abroad.
“We call upon the international community to take the necessary measures to stop the crimes against humanity that are being committed in Mosul,” the statement said.
It cautioned against the dire consequences of uprooting Christians, stressing that “Christian presence in the Levant is a cultural necessity for the developed world.”
The bishops also denounced Israeli aggressions against Palestinians in Gaza which they charged are being committed “amid odious Arab and international silence.”