The Community of Sant’Egidio expresses its grief for the tragedy that hit the city of Beirut and expresses its closeness to the families of the victims of the terrible explosion as well as to the many wounded. The heart of a country has been struck, a country with which Sant’Egidio has forged a bond of great significance for many years now and which the Community considers a privileged place for interreligious dialogue, for coexistence among different people and for culture of peace.
Lebanon – as John Paul II used to say – “is a message”. It is a message of a possible cohabitation among different religions, cultures and peoples. It is a an even more substantial message at this time when, due to the pandemic, we have better understood that no-one is saved alone, but “we are all called to row together to overcome evil”, according to Pope Francis’ meaningful expression.
Every effort must be made to preserve Lebanon as a space of democracy, peace and dialogue in the troubled and lacerated Middle East. Humanitarian corridors, which since 2016 have brought more that 2,000 Syrian refugees from Lebanon, have given us a further opportunity to appreciate this country, fundamental for the balance of the Middle East, for its willingness to collaborate in this great humanitarian programme.
We are with the Lebanese people in this tragic moment of their history, we pray for Lebanon and we will do all we can to be close to the Lebanese people and support the rebirth of their country.
The Community of Sant’Egidio, present in Beirut, is active in these hours in the first aid to some elderly people and families affected by this tragedy.