Persecution of Non-Muslims (Lebanon)
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“We will enter their bedrooms, pierce their stomachs, slaughter them and slice their throats.” Hezbollah emptying the south of its Christian residents. 6,500 men, along with their families, flee Lebanon
Our people declined from continuing the fight and chose to leave, not because of fear of combat or death only, but most importantly to avoid more Lebanese bloodshed, while the central government did not dare to assume its national responsibilities and obligations.
Since 2000, many of these 6500 individuals risked returning to Lebanon. On their return they were immediately arrested, humiliated, tortured and charged with treason and collaboration with an enemy (Israel). Their trials were extremely hasty, biased, scandalous and terrible infringement on all judicial international standards and human rights charters. Even after serving their imprisonment terms they were all stripped of their civil rights and officially tagged as traitors. Very few of those who served their imprisonment terms were able to return to their homes and towns in the south because the terrorist Hezbollah, and not the Lebanese authorities is in full control of that region.
Many of these unfortunate Lebanese refugees willingly left Israel and are now living in the USA, Canada, Australia, and numerous European countries. All of them are afraid to go back home, because of the kind of falsified and fabricated Hezbollah-Tailored charges that are waiting for them the moment they land in Lebanon. Those who did return ended in jail after unfair and biased trials with harsh verdicts.
In the context of Hezbollah’s fanaticism, revenge and hatred, and in the realm of its ongoing scheme to empty the southern region of its Christian inhabitants, the Lebanese military court sentenced on February 01/2010 with a stroke of a pen 34 citizens in absentia (living as refugees in Israel and other countries) with verdicts ranging from 3 to 15 years of imprisonment with hard labor and stripped them of their civil rights.Even those who return from Israel to Lebanon as dead bodies in coffins are tagged as traitors, disgraced and humiliated. The Lebanese government exploited by Hezbollah’s terrorism, manipulation and control, has been desecrating the sanctity of death, which is not a Lebanese virtue.
Elias Youssef Bejjani, International Analyst Network, February 16, 2010
Thousands of Muslims riot in Christian neighborhood on Sunday, setting fire to the Danish Consulate, attacking a prominent church, and smashing cars and windows. At least 30 people injured and one dead
The pandemonium took a sectarian turn as demonstrators cut an angry path through a predominantly Christian neighborhood.
It was the first time in days of protests around the world that Muslims, who consider the caricatures blasphemous, took their anger out on another community. For Lebanese, the rioting was an unsettling echo of a 15-year civil war fought along religious lines.
The riots came a day after similar unrest flared in the Syrian capital, causing some here to question whether Syria could be latching on to the controversy — and generalized anti-Western sentiment — for political purposes.
Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora suggested that the riots in Damascus were "a lesson to some in Lebanon to do the same." There was no immediate response from Damascus.
In Beirut, where religious tensions have fueled generations of political violence, rioting dragged on for hours in the Christian neighborhood of Achrifiyeh, leaving at least 30 people injured and one dead, Associated Press reported.
Interior Minister Hassan Sebaa offered his resignation later Sunday in an emergency Cabinet meeting, as accusations mounted that security forces were too slow to respond to the mobs.
Wielding hammers, rocks and wooden clubs, Muslim demonstrators packed the streets, chanting slogans against Jews and America. Many of the demonstrators marched calmly, but others set cars and trash cans on fire, smashed a police car into the side of a church and uprooted trees.
As they moved through the streets toward the Danish Consulate, some demonstrators spray-painted slogans on storefronts and ripped down commemorative posters of Gibran Tueni, the critic of Syria and Christian newspaper publisher who was assassinated in December.
"This is not violence, this is the right of every Muslim to fight for the prophet," said Ali Allameh, a bearded cleric whose hair was tied back with a bandanna. "Those who insult the prophet are not people, are not human beings. They're pigs and chimpanzees. Even pigs are better than these people."The demonstrations in Beirut were the latest venting of outrage in a conflict between freedom of the press and religious sensitivities. European governments defend the publication of the cartoons — one of which depicts the prophet Muhammad with a turban shaped like a bomb — by citing freedom of the press.
Megan K. Stack, Los Angeles Times, February 6, 2006
Christian mother and her pregnant daughter held hostage by Muslims in their home for 15 hours, then brutally murdered. Pregnant daughter decapitated and dismembered
Compass Direct, January 21, 2000
Catholic Insight, March 1, 2000
New Year’s weekend: 60-year-old Maronite nun raped, beaten, then strangled to death by Islamic militants
Catholic Insight, March 1, 2000
Compass Direct, January 21, 2000
American Christian, a nurse and missionary, gunned down with three pistol shots to her head. Husband forgives her killers, and leading Sunni Muslim cleric says he does not condemn her killing
Compass Direct, December 14, 2002
Ted Olsen, Christianity Today, November 1, 2002
Arab convert to Christianity killed in bomb blast aimed at a European missionary family who had been “repeatedly threatened” during 20 years of ministry in Lebanon
Jamil Ahmed al-Rifai, 28, died instantly when a 4.5-pound bomb exploded just before midnight in the Qubba suburb of Tripoli, Lebanon’s northern port city.
Despite reports on the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television network that al-Rifai had himself planted the bomb, eyewitnesses confirmed that the Jordanian Christian was an innocent victim of the attack.
According to Dutch missionary Gerrit “Joep” Griffioen, who survived the attack, his wife had spotted an intruder in the garden next to their ground-floor apartment about 11:30 last night. When Griffioen shouted at the man from his kitchen balcony, he was squatting down with “something glimmering between his hands,” the Dutchman told a close friend in Tripoli today.
Griffioen quickly called his next-door neighbor, al-Rifai, to help him investigate.
By the time the two men got into the garden, the intruder had fled, leaving an object that flickered in the dark. With his bare hands, Griffioen smothered the lit fuse, and then they moved the packet further away from the house. Thinking that they had extinguished the bomb, they looked briefly for the intruder and then returned to the building.
But shortly after Griffioen went back into his home, the bomb exploded, shattering windows of the nearby houses and damaging parked cars. Only after summoning the police to the scene did Griffioen realize that al-Rifai had remained out in the garden, where he was killed by the blast.
A Jordanian citizen, al-Rifai had lived and studied in Lebanon for the past six years. According to the Christian advocacy group Middle East Concern (MEC), al-Rifai left Jordan in 1997 “because of pressure from the authorities over his conversion to Christianity.”
Griffioen told the Dutch Associated Press (ANP) today that he had been “repeatedly threatened” during his 20 years of ministry in Lebanon, but he had never taken the threats seriously.
He was “almost 100 percent certain,” the Dutchman said, that the motive for the attack was religious. While there was widespread interest in the teachings of Jesus Christ among the Lebanese people, he said, there were also “people who took offense.”
Griffioen and his wife Barbel have three children.The deadly Tripoli bombing was the second attack against Christian missionaries in Lebanon in the past six months.
Barbara G. Baker, Compass Direct, May 7, 2003
“It is the beginning of a new series of attacks,” Estonian cyclists abducted, and bomb blast in front of an Orthodox church’s main entrance leaves 1 wounded and damages church interior, cars, and nearby houses
The attack did not discourage the faithful however, who took part in the Sunday morning Mass celebrated by Mgr Boulos Safar, the Syro-Orthodox bishop of Zahle, on the damaged parvis of the church.
The Minister of Culture, Salim Wardy, some members of the National Assembly, the local security chief in the Bekaa as well as the president of the Syriac League in Lebanon took part in the function.
In his homily, Mgr Safar said, “This attack is a message to undermine security in Lebanon”, but the “Church will not close its doors, whatever the consequences.”
Many take the abduction of a group of Estonian cyclists near Zahle a few days ago and this attack as a sign that terrorist groups are back in action.Outgoing Minister Elie Marouni said it was a message, whilst Amin Gemayel, historic leader of the Phalange, said he feared the Zahle bomb was just the beginning of a new series of attacks.
AsiaNews, March 28, 2011
Muslims bully Christian minority by illegally seizing large areas of church land and beating and expelling Christian farmers from their own uncontested land. Now Muslims armed with guns occupy Lebanese church
The conflict has ancient roots, some details date as far back as the nineteenth century. So the Shiites population claims that the Maronite chapel was already a Shiite place of worship. The Maronite Patriarchate, for its part argues that the plot of land was purchased by the Maronite Church in the nineteenth century, as supported by documents such as title deeds and cadastral surveys dating to 1939. These are the facts that the Church seeks to confirm today, once and for all, with the help of the Lebanese state.
The use of threats by the Shiite population of Lassa has awakened feelings of confessional hostility in Maronite environments. Nurtured by certain personalities this anger has begun to manifest itself. To avoid exacerbating these feelings the patriarchate of Bkerke called a meeting involving all parties concerned, including representatives of Hezbollah and the Amal Shiite movement. The patriarch chaired the meeting, which was also attended by representatives of the police and army. Closing the meeting, and confirming his original direction, the Patriarchate has appointed a commission to resolve the legal problem, expressing the desire to confine the issue to a strictly legal framework and avoid any political and confessional drift.
Legal documents show that the land belongs to the Maronite Church in the village where a Shiite majority and a Maronite minority coexist in about 3.6 million square meters, divided into 95 plots. The plots were registered in 1939. Over 80 cases of trespassing on land belonging to the Maronite Church have been registered, in the form of illegal construction or unauthorised agricultural use. Most buildings were built at the beginning of this century, thanks to the mayor's illegal authorization of the village and with the passive complicity of the local police, responsible for repressing violations of construction law.
Moreover, not content with occupying the Church land illegally, the Shiite population prevents the development of Christian farmers on their own uncontested agricultural land. To the point that one of them was beaten and kicked off the land that he had rented. The lawyers of the Patriarchate, who are in direct contact with a Hezbollah official, Ghaleb Abu Zeinab, ensure that this party does not give political cover to the families illegally occupying the property of the Maronite Church, and that an attitude of firmness is required by all so that justice is done.At present this is the situation. The cadastral surveys have been suspended, waiting, as usual, for the political forces to take the necessary steps, within the village, in favour of a compromise. But what compromise are they speaking about? Will force eventually win over justice? The antagonistic political forces spy on each other, they watch each other, while the fire smoulders beneath.
Fady Noun, AsiaNews, July 27, 2011
Muslims protest and issue threats against vendors of Christian-run shops that sell alcoholic beverages, forcing some to close their businesses
In the latest case reported by the Marakaziya agency, a young tradesperson received anonymous threats in the post with a warning that they should close down their shop in Kferwe', in the Nabatiyeh region.
A report in today's edition of L'Orient le Jour states that the 24-year-old shopkeeper, identified by the surname of Yaacoub, immediately reported the incident to the police, who have opened an enquiry into the incident. Meanwhile, inhabitants of the Christian-majority village have expressed their solidarity with him. The young man has now moved to Kferwe' after closing another shop in Nabatiyeh after a demonstration was organised against him in that town.Over the past few days, another shopkeeper selling alcoholic products in Houla, in the province of Marjeyoun, saw his shop being targeted by a group of unknown persons throwing empty beer bottles.
ANSAmed, September 30, 2011
Violent campaign to rid Lebanon of alcohol continues, bomb blasts target nightclub and alcohol shop in the Christian quarters of Tyre
There were no casualties in the 5:00 am (0300 GMT) blasts but they caused severe damage to property, a security official told AFP.
The army cordoned off the area and launched an investigation.
One of the bombs targeted the Elissa Queen Hotel on the seafront of the scenic Mediterranean coastal town. The hotel and nearby buildings were immediately evacuated.
The hotel nightclub is a favourite with UN peacekeepers deployed in south Lebanon, an AFP correspondent in the town said.
The second bomb struck a shop selling alcohol in the Christian quarters of Tyre, a multi-confessional city especially popular with tourists during the summer season.
A string of liquor stores in south Lebanon were forced to close this year in the face of a campaign to rid the south of alcohol.
Alcohol is widely available in multi-confessional Lebanon, which is considered the most liberal country in the Arab world.It is banned, however, in areas under the control of Shiite militant group Hezbollah and radical Sunni movements.
AFP, November 16, 2011
Christian pastor tracked down and abducted after he baptized a Muslim girl who, after being trapped in her parents’ house, escaped and came to him, wishing to become a Christian
The agency said the Lebanese National Media "unknown persons traveling in two cars intercepted Father Walid Gharios in his car on the road to Baalbek and abducted him."
The agency said based on preliminary information that the reason for the abduction back to the Father "baptized a Muslim girl Ahrobhamn after her parents' house."
It said security forces working to pursue the kidnappers.The Baalbek, located 100 kilometers north-east of Beirut, is a stronghold of Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Al Quds (machine translated), May 7, 2012
Two "unknown assailants" open fire with rifles on Saint Joseph Church in Bqosta near Sidon, damaging the building’s windows
According to the NNA, the assailants shot at the town’s Saint Joseph Church with hunting rifles, damaging the building’s windows.The report also said that Internal Security Forces members arrived at the scene of the incident and launched an investigation to determine the whereabouts and identities of the assailants.
NOW Lebanon, September 30, 2012