Maronite Patriarch Beshara Boutors Rahi on Sunday, the 11th day of national demonstrations that have spread in Lebanon demanding a full overhaul of the current government, called on politicians to listen to the people’s demands to avoid losing their trust.
"People are the source of authority and sovereignty,” the head of the Maronite church said on Sunday’s mass service in Bkirki.
He said the authority cannot ignore the people's demand for a neutral and mini-government, and it must listen to their demands before it is too late.
The Patriarch stressed that this uprising should not be diverted to partisan conflicts or destructive ideological goals.
"The protest movement unified the Lebanese people under the national flag and around their just, national demands for dignity and social justice, rejecting the financial and economic reality," he said.
Patriarch Rahi also called for a new cabinet formation comprised of competent specialists.
Demonstrators across the country demand the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s government to be replaced by one with no political affiliation.
The patriarch considered that these demonstrations reflected the historical national facet of Lebanon, and showed that the culture of coexistence is based on freedom, pluralism, and the values of human dignity.
“It is impossible to intimidate our young people, who are offering sacrifices to correct the political practices with a system that shows integrity and impartiality,” he said.
Addressing political officials in Lebanon, Rahi said, “As you struggled to please the people and win their votes during elections, you should now find out what pleases the people not to lose their trust”.
The Patriarch then addressed the protesters and asked them to “protect the framework of their revolution and avoid succumbing to the temptation of political and sectarian conflicts.”
Rahi also called on the protesters to open the roads and facilitate the movements of citizens.
For the 11th day on Sunday, demonstrators set up barricades and parked cars across key roads to protest corruption.