Rahi at Christians of Orient Conference: Each team’s candidate should be accepted by others

July 24, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) Each political team and parliamentary bloc is called forth to appoint its final candidate, provided that he is accepted by others, Maronite Patriarch, Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi, said on Friday as delivering a speech during the Christians of the Orient Conference.

“He [the candidate] should be distinguished with his statesman characteristics and known for his bright history, capability, and wisdom. He should be able to fittingly steer the state ship, especially amid the crucial political, economic, and security circumstances,” Rahi said.

The Maronite Patriarch confirmed that Christians were a need to the Middle East region.

“No one is capable of uprooting Christians and the church from the Orient because God has planted them in his land,” he added.

Moreover, Rahi said that Lebanon sets an example of coexistence to the world with its equality between Christians and Muslims.

“The law [in Lebanon] separates between the state and religion () it enjoys a democratic parliamentary law that allows Christians and Muslims, no matter what sect they belong to, balanced participation running and governing the country,” he said, quoting Pope Jean Paul II who described Lebanon as “a valuable civilization”.

Rahi went on to regret that Lebanon’s role in the Middle East has been hindered once it was dragged into the axis of the Sunni-Shiite regional war.

“This has left negative repercussions that ended up in a political dispute between two teams, and left a schism in the country,” he said.

The Maronite Patriarch also lamented the fact that the Lebanese have failed to elect a president so far.

“It’s an extremely regretful situation that the Lebanese await a foreign decision [to elect a president],” he added.