Lebanese Christians, Hezbollah and Syria

2 Nov

baalbek-1-superJumboThe Rev. Ibrahim Nehmo expressed a shared ambivalence about Hezbollah’s power in the village of Ras Baalbek, Lebanon. Diego Ibarra Sanchez for The New York Times (click)

“In recent statements, Hezbollah’s leaders have credited their fighters with defending Lebanon against a wave of extremist Sunni militancy that could threaten the country, the most religiously diverse in the region. Al Akhbar, a left-leaning Lebanese daily, recently published a telephone poll conducted last month by the Beirut Center for Research and Information that found that two-thirds of Christians said Hezbollah was protecting Lebanon.

In Ras Baalbek, that sentiment is strong, but it comes with some ambivalence. The Rev. Ibrahim Nehmo, the priest at St. Elian Greek Catholic Church, put it this way: “We feel positive about Hezbollah today, but not as positive as their communities do.

“We are not asking them to come here,” he said. “But I profit from Hezbollah. I am not fully with Hezbollah, but if Hezbollah is powerful, I am not sad.”

At the church, deserted on a recent weekday, red and blue stained glass filtered light into a quiet sanctuary. A sign on the door displayed the insecurities of Christians, who are more powerful in Lebanon than in any other Arab country but see themselves as increasingly beleaguered in the region.”

“This land belongs to our people,” it read. “Some of us have died, some of us are still alive, but some of us haven’t been born yet. This land is not for sale.”

Whole article: Clashes on Syrian Border Split Lebanese Town 

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

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