SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Aoun meets delegation of US Evangelical Churches, receives two congratulatory cables on government formation

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, met a delegation representing Evangelical Churches in the United States, headed by Archbishop, Raffoul Najem.

Archbishop Najem thanked the President for meeting the delegation, and expressed his happiness for visiting Lebanon. “We are very worried about the Lebanon we love, Lebanon whose name is mentioned 77 times in the Holy Bible.

Lebanon in our view, represents an important strategic place, not only in the Middle East, but in the whole world, from a spiritual point of view and not from a political context. We strongly believe that it is a safe haven for the Church in the Middle East” Archbishop Najem stated.

“We represent hundreds of churches, and we came to express our solidarity with Lebanon and help its people. After the tragic Beirut Port explosion, we were able to collect generous donations and sent them to 256 Evangelical Churches in Lebanon, to help them survive and continue” Najem added.

Archbishop Najem also indicated that the delegation cam to Lebanon with aid, especially medicines, foodstuffs and goods which were distributed in various regions, from Beirut to Baalbek.

In addition, Najem asserted that “The most important thing is that we were able to gather 55 priests representing 55 churches of different sects. Our main goal is to unite the Church in Lebanon, and to work on the basis of mercy and love to help in the reconstruction. We are here to listen to you and to represent your voice in the US”.

Afterwards, Bishop Joseph Matera thanked the President for receiving them, and praised the stances of President Aoun. Bishop Matera said that he heads a group whose goal is to press for change, and it is linked to an international alliance of around 3000 network leaders, in 50 or 60 countries. Bishop Matera addressed the Lebanese saying “We started collecting money to help the people, and we are here today aiming to provide support to the evangelical churches which constitute a minority. We will do all we can to convey this image to the whole world”.

Matera also emphasized that the system operated away from any association with a political entity. “We extend our hands for partnership and cooperation” Matera said.

President Aoun:

For his part, the President welcomed the delegation and praised their work, especially as its goal is to help the Lebanese people “Which shows solidarity with Lebanon in light of this difficult crisis and with good spirit and love to help the other”.

“This love is the core of the Christian religion, which considers that a person is a human being no matter the difference in religion, especially since Lebanon is a model for coexistence, and is different from other races, peoples and countries” President Aoun said.

“We mustn’t forget that the Lebanese area today represents the area of the world with the Lebanese in the diaspora who have not forgotten their homeland. The Lebanese, through their culture and civilization, can adapt in different continents, because their culture represents the quality of civilizations due to its spread in all parts of the world, and mastering different languages” the President added.

Statement:

After the meeting, Archbishop Najem expressed his happiness to be with the delegation in Lebanon, and pointed out that the purpose of the visit, which represents around 15 US states, is to help Lebanon and extend a hand to its people of all sects without discrimination, in addition to uniting churches of different sects.

Head of the Association of the Legion of Honor:

President Aoun met the Head of the Legion of Honor Association in Lebanon, Ambassador Khalil Karam.

Ambassador Karam congratulated the President on the formation of the new government, and conveyed a verbal message from the President of the Association in France, Rear Admiral Alain Koldivy, who will visit Lebanon with a delegation next January 17, on the occasion of the centenary of the Assembly, and will participate in several activities.

Moreover, Ambassador Karam will represent the Lebanese branch of the Association in the celebration which will be held on September 28 in Paris, in the presence of French President, Emmanuel Macron.

For his part, President Aoun conveyed his greetings to President Macron and praised the assistance provided by the association to Lebanon, especially after the Beirut Port explosion.

Congratulation Cables:

President Aoun received congratulatory telegrams on forming the new government, from the Qatari Prince, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad II.

The Qatari Prince expressed his “Sincere congratulations and best wishes”, wishing the President good health and wellness, and hoping that the new government succeeds in achieving peoples’ aspirations, development, progress and prosperity.

In addition, President Aoun received a congratulation cable from Deputy Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad II, who wished the government all the success.

    Source:
  • NNA