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Lebanon: Religious Authorities Express Solidarity With Protesters

Lebanon: Religious Authorities Express Solidarity With Protesters

Thursday, 24 October, 2019 - 11:30
Lebanese demonstrators take part in a rally outside the Mohammad al-Amin mosque in the capital Beirut’s downtown district on October 20, 2019. PATRICK BAZ/AFP via Getty Images

Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdullatif Derian expressed his support for the just social demands and called on “the pillars of the state” to respond to the needs of the people.

In a statement on Wednesday, he also hoped that the recent decisions of the Council of Ministers would be the beginning of the desired reforms, and an expression of the sincere intention to implement them.

Dar al-Fatwa expressed its “high appreciation for the behavior of the protesters, which was characterized by national discipline in the streets and public squares of Beirut and in many other Lebanese cities,” and reiterated its support for the “right social demands and the nationalist slogans raised by citizens throughout Lebanon."

In parallel, the Council of Patriarchs and Bishops called on President Michel Aoun to immediately begin consultations with political and community leaders to make appropriate decisions on people’s demands in order to avoid financial and economic collapse.

While the Council considered that the series of government reforms was a positive first step, it called for the amendment of the ministerial team and the appointment of “people of competence, integrity, and patriotism.”

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai, who chaired the extraordinary session of the Council on Wednesday, said in a statement: “The State has gone too far in deviation, intransigence, and corruption prompting the people to revolt.”

He declared solidarity with the protestors stating: “The people have sent a message that rose above sectarian divisions.”

“The people showed that they are more united than their leaders, and gave evidence of the will of national life in a time of disintegration and sedition,” he added.

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