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War puts strain on Lebanon's confessional balance

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War puts strain on Lebanon's confessional balance


Members of the Christian communities in Lebanon attended their churches as usual on Sunday. In recent years, christians have tried to keep out of the conflict. Under Lebanon’s intricate constitution, they are guaranteed a prominent role in the government. But rights bring responsibilities, and the damage done to the country’s infrastructure affects everyone.
Israeli air attacks last friday occurred in the mostly Christian area north of Beirut. The air raids wrecked five bridges on the main coastal highway.

Lebanon’s Transport Minister described it as “cutting the country to pieces.”
Transport of emergency aid has been disrupted. Traffic has to use narrow and twisting roads through the mountains. Refugees from the Muslim areas are everywhere.
“The war puts pressure on the government, infrastructure and civilians,” said one man.
“The muslim refugees are everywhere here.” says Tania, a christian Beiruti. “They do not disturb us, they are in shops, schools and in the crowds.”

Recently Lebanon’s Maronine patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir condemned Israeli attacks.
The gigantic task of rebuilding Lebanon after the war will be a concern for all parts of the country’s complex ethnic and confessional mixture.

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