BEIRUT: The Council of Maronite Bishops expressed concern Monday over the growing presence of arms in Lebanon.
“The bishops expressed concern over the armed presence in various areas, which raise a lot of questions about the Lebanese commitment to ‘Lebanon First’,” said a statement issued at the end of the Council’s monthly meeting.
The bishops also expressed concerns over the “phenomenon of kidnap-for-ransom in broad daylight,” blaming the government which it held responsible for the logic of “security by consensus” in addition to the crippled political decision.
Turning to parliamentary elections, the Maronite bishops warned against a return to the amended 1960 law and stressed the need to hold the polls on time.
Regarding an open-ended strike over delayed pay hikes, the statement expressed fear that the country would enter into a new crisis “that would have [negative] repercussions on various sectors and could lead to bankruptcy."
The bishops held the government responsible for the consequences of the strike that has crippled work in many government departments and public schools across Lebanon.
They called on the government and various sides to help promote a quiet atmosphere for dialogue.
The statement stressed Christian-Muslim coexistence and warned that signs of sectarian tension Lebanon is witnessing “contradict the country’s slogan.”