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HomeNewsAsiaLebanon faces renewed conflict amid Gaza war, local Church appeals for peace

Lebanon faces renewed conflict amid Gaza war, local Church appeals for peace

Lebanon is grappling with a renewed armed conflict in its southern regions due to the ongoing war in Gaza, according to the Maronite Archbishop of Tyre.

By LiCAS News

The southern area of Lebanon, particularly near the Israeli border, is experiencing daily rocket fire, which is intensifying the hardships caused by the country’s economic crisis that began in 2019.

Archbishop Charbel Abdallah, whose archdiocese is one of the oldest in the world, told Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) in Lebanon the dire situation faced by his flock. 

“Most people who had fled to Beirut or further north have now returned because they were short of money, and their relatives did not have the capacity to accommodate so many people,” the prelate said.

He also detailed the destruction in specific areas, noting that the parishes of Alma el Chaeb and Quzah are nearly empty and have suffered extensive damage. These areas, lying directly in the airstrike zones, have seen a large number of houses completely destroyed.

Marielle Boutros, project coordinator for ACN in Lebanon, highlighted the disproportionate media attention given to Gaza compared to the less reported struggles of southern Lebanon. 

She pointed out that the global focus on Gaza has overshadowed the fact that an armed conflict is also unfolding in southern Lebanon.

She said the local population “can’t cope with the noise of the rockets anymore and are traumatized. They really need our prayers.”

Archbishop Abdallah highlighted the severe impact on agriculture, a vital source of income for the region. “The people in these ten parishes can no longer bring in their harvest because their fields are now a conflict zone,” he said.

He further lamented the lack of governmental support, saying, “In the face of these many needs, the state is completely absent. The people are becoming poorer and poorer and can no longer live dignified lives.”

Despite the ongoing danger, the Church in Lebanon remains a steadfast pillar of support for the affected communities. Boutros praised the unwavering commitment of the church people, saying, “None of them—whether bishops, priests, religious brothers, or nuns—have left the region in the face of constant danger.” 

“They feel responsible for staying with the people in their need and offering them support and comfort,” she added.

Archbishop Abdallah emphasized the Church’s role in sustaining spiritual and communal life amid the crisis. 

“We try to keep the spiritual life of the parishes going by celebrating all the usual festivals: the festivals of the liturgical year, the festivals of patron saints, and First Communion,” he noted.

The local Church is heavily reliant on international aid to provide basic necessities. The prelate expressed gratitude to Catholic organizations like ACN and other NGOs that are present for their crucial assistance.

“Please pray for us. Pray that this war in the Middle East ends as quickly as possible!” he said.

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