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Pope sees Lebanon as model for Christian-Muslim coexistence

February 24, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on February 24 with Lebanon’s President Michel Sleiman, and said that the peaceful coexistence of Christians and Muslims in that country “stands as a message of freedom and respectful coexistence, not only for the region but for the whole world.”

The Pope’s talk with the Lebanese leader concentrated on the importance of interfaith cooperation, according to a communiqué released by the Vatican after the meeting. The two also discussed the current unrest in the Middle East, and the difficulties facing Christians in the region.

President Sleiman was in Rome for the dedication of a statue of St. Maron, located on the exterior wall of St. Peter’s basilica. St. Maron was the founder of the Maronite Catholic Church, the largest Christian group in Lebanon.


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