As Lebanon celebrated Sunday its 77th Independence Day, religious figures unanimously stressed the importance of neutrality and the need to resolve its crippling crises and facilitate the formation of a new government.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdel Latif Derian lamented that Independence Day was taking place at a time when the country is suffering from an unparalleled collapse amid the absence of the state and its institutions.
"Lebanon is in a lost situation, and no solutions are being found to the accumulated crises on all levels. We fear the greatest and the worst unless a national rescue government is formed that regain the confidence of the people and the Arab and international community. Otherwise Lebanon would be doomed," warned Derian.
Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rahi said during Sunday mass that "the current deteriorating situation reveals the extent of the political, economic and security devastation in Lebanon."
He said this “destruction” on all levels was a result of non-compliance with the dissociation policy.
He reminded the political class of the need to expedite the formation of the new government because the Lebanese are no longer able to bear the deteriorating conditions at the social, economic and security levels.
Grand Jaafari Mufti, Ahmed Qabalan congratulated the Lebanese on the independence, which he said has been transformed into a “historic tragedy”.
“Today we are called upon to liberate Lebanon from the inside, save it from the gangs responsible for the country’s collapse and pillage. This obliges us to free the political system from the abominable sectarianism responsible for all the country’s crises, including corruption and looting in the state, its facilities, institutions and wealth,” he said.
Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Naim Hassan said: “Independence is being marked this year amid unprecedented crises, burdens, anxieties and complications, which pose great questions about the inability of the ruling class to take any serious steps to save the country and the people of Lebanon from their woes.”
Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch for the Archdiocese of Beirut, Metropolitan Elias Audeh, addressed in his sermon President Michel Aoun, calling on him to salvage what is left from his presidential term by taking a bold decision.
“You should not accept that Lebanon be held hostage by internal or external parties. Lebanon’s freedom, sovereignty and independence are in your hands. Lebanon can only be free and today it is tied up. Lebanon is suffocating if it is not open to the world and today, it is an isolated country,” he said.