The Christian church and faith drew only strength from the tragic killings of Armenians in World War I, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai said Wednesday from Armenia, the Daily Star reports.
“The centenary ceremony of the Armenian martyrs who were killed a hundred years ago is not just a Liturgical ceremony, but a major event for the church and people of the East,” Rai said at a dinner held by Lebanon’s Ambassador to Armenia Jean Maakaroun.
“With the fall of martyrs, the church increased in power and spread, and was baptized by their blood.”
The patriarch, who is in Armenia to attend a ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the genocide, said the region is in urgent need of Christian values, which expound love and truth, not violence and wealth.
He also expressed confidence in Lebanon despite the fierce rivalries that exist among its various political factions.
“Despite all disputes in Lebanon, everyone agrees on the need to protect coexistence and diversity in Lebanon, as well as the country’s openness to the world,” he said. “This is enough to bring back well-being and civil peace to the country.”
Rai said the world “is impressed with Lebanon and its people, who are loving and open” and that social cohesion had always remain strong despite political tensions.
“Lebanon is a great and complete work of mosaic, and none of its parts can be sacrificed,” he said. “We should protect it as it is, and the political conflict that has broken Lebanon’s back should be broken.”
“We cannot live with enmities and disputes.”