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Lebanese prelate would make common cause with Hezbollah against Islamic state

August 20, 2014

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai has said that he is prepared to meet with the leader of the Hezbollah movement, in order to address the threats posed by the Islamic State to the security of Lebanon.

Cardinal Rai said that Church leaders in Lebanon are in contact with Hezbollah, despite obvious differences with the Shi’ite Muslim group. He said that they might work together “to face together the great danger of the ISIL which has begun to penetrate in Lebanon.”

The Maronite Patriarch was in Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, along with the leaders of other Eastern churches, to show solidarity with Christian refugees and to meet with Kurdish authorities. The delegation of Church leaders included, along with Cardinal Rai, Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham, Syrian Catholic Patriarch Youssef III Yonan, and Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrm II. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako was already in Erbil.


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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Aug. 21, 2014 2:42 PM ET USA

    Not a perfect solution, but given the number of Mohammedans in that area, temporary alliances will be necessary to stop the thugs. The entire West should adopt the same strategy, playing off one group against another. After all, it is what we did in WW II when we sided with Stalin to stop Hitler. Not perfect by any means, but, faute de mieux....

  • Posted by: Defender - Aug. 21, 2014 1:46 AM ET USA

    Trading one extremist group for another and by a cleric, no less. What happens when ISIS is extinguished and those left look for another extremist group to join?