Church: Pope prays for "troubled" Lebanon and Middle East

On the last day of his trip to the Kingdom of Bahrain, Pope Francis prayed for the people of Lebanon.

Church: Pope prays for "troubled" Lebanon and Middle East

On the last day of his trip to the Kingdom of Bahrain, Pope Francis prayed for the people of Lebanon. The country is "weary and plagued," said the 85-year-old pontiff at a meeting with church officials on Sunday morning (local time) in Manama. He assures all peoples in the Middle East who are suffering of his prayers and solidarity, the Catholic Church leader continued. His four-day visit to the Muslim island nation on the Persian Gulf ended on Sunday.

One of the worst economic and financial crises in its history has been raging in Lebanon for almost three years. Large parts of the population have slipped into poverty and have to make do with little electricity and water. There is also a political crisis: the term of office of the previous President Michel Aoun expired a week ago. The country now has neither a head of state nor a government. The leading parties in the Mediterranean country have become entangled in a bitter power struggle. Many Lebanese accuse the political elite of massive corruption and blame them for the dramatic situation.

Francis actually wanted to visit Lebanon in June. But the trip was canceled because he was still struggling with knee pain then and now. Many Lebanese see the Argentine's visit as an important sign of solidarity. At that time, Francis was also considering a trip to Jerusalem, where he should have met the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill. The conversation with the clergyman who is loyal to Putin would have been an opportunity to talk about ways of peace in the Ukraine war.

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