BEIRUT: Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai Thursday called on Christians to protect their lands and existence in Lebanon and the Middle East, saying that the region needs to understand the Bible’s words in order to survive.
“We are called to protect the Lebanese land on which our history was written and our identity was imprinted,” Rai said at a ceremony celebrating St. Marina’s day in Anoubin Valley.
He said that in order to protect “[their] existence in the Middle East and Lebanon,” Christians must stick to their roots, protect their lands and keep their faith in Christianity.
Rai expressed grief over the waves of violence invading the region, saying that Christianity had the answer to the crises.
“The East’s language is the language of war, murder and destruction,” he said, “while our language is a language of peace and life.”
“Today, the East needs Jesus’s Bible,” he continued, “from which we draw ... the blisses of solidity, durability and patience.”
The patriarch’s words on protecting Christian land and existence harmonize with a media campaign sponsored by Rai and implemented by the Maronite league.
“Your land for the kin, not for the stranger,” read some billboards, while others stated: “The grandfathers’ land guarantees existence.”