In the Name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful

The honorable Supreme Pontiff Pope John Paul the Second:


As you perform your pastoral visit to Lebanon, allow us to address you with these words on issues and affairs that certainly fall within the framework of your concerns and are essential to the existence and future of our people.

Faith, A necessity for humanity

Honorable Supreme Pontiff,

Your Eminence, with what you represent, preside over one of the religious authorities in the world that is concerned about developing the human being's direction towards the Supreme Lord, the Creator and the One who causes death, the One who originates the creation and the One who reproduces it, and about establishing the relation between human beings on the grounds of Divine values that translate spiritual sublimity into social ethics that would enable the human society to live under a degree of justice, security and peace.

You know, no doubt, that might and victory have become the criteria of relationships between individuals and groups.

The international political developments came not to enhance the human being's belief in his or her Lord as natural harmony with the human innate character and the basis for salvation, but to increase the power of the prevalent materialistic trends and their feeling of strength.

The atmosphere of globalization and the spread of the values of market economy and competitiveness disassemble the last concrete restraints that have been required by the social circumstances of the intellectual-political conflict that had been going on during the cold war in such a manner that social relationships within the scope of countries themselves and at the international relations' level, have become unchained by the rules that would protect the minimia of the rights of the oppressed in a free dignified living; these relations started to adopt more brutal forms.

Under the increasing growth of the domination of the capital sector on economic transactions and the media, that have become a major player in influencing the cultural identity of every nation and in formulating its awareness and knowledge, the human societies are losing the restraints of balance and stability between the individuals of these societies and between one society and the other.

As no materialistic doctrine could persist as a socio-political system, the greater crises, hunger, poverty, pollution, corruption and wars, confirm the downfall of the materialistic doctrine generally and its failure in organizing the human living so as to realize its safety and development.

Today, as has always been the case we need the spirit of prophethood and mission to restore the spiritual beam of divine values in a world suffering from the crises of hunger, crime, anxiety and frustration.

An urgent mission falls upon the believers in the world: to rescue humanity from the savagery of the merciless competitiveness values and to restore humanity to the sanctuary of human values by a right word in the face of the tyrants of injustice and despotism that would be a light of hope for the wronged and oppressed who are sinking under suppression.

Depriving a human being of the right and the hope to recover it makes the dignified death more desirable to him than living in humiliation.

Defending faith values and establishing divine values in the human societies are more appropriate than the race between the people of different faiths to attract congregations and followers from their opposite lines; the believers cooperation in solidarity is the requested position today.

Liberating al-Quods:

Honorable Supreme Pontiff,

You are coming today to a region in which the tragedy has been staying for a longtime; the tragedy of peoples whose free will of self-determination has been plundered; that made them fall as captives of the dominance of super powers which give precedence to their interests over the aspirations and hopes of these peoples. The tragedy reached its apex when a whole nation has been disposed from their land under the pretext of establishing a safe homeland for another people, regardless of the facts of history and geography.

The aftereffects of that tragedy are still there, and are being established as a fact intended to have the international law's legitimacy through imposing concession on the helpless to make them give up their right in all of the land in exchange for scattered patches of small parts of this ravished land, and for a lean entity.

This international approach in dealing with the Palestinian issue began to threaten al-Quods itself. This city viewed with sanctity by Moslems, being their first kiblah (direction to which Moslems turn in prayer) and the site to which prophet Mohammed had traveled at midnight and from there he ascended to the seven heavens in a trip that has been a symbol of the accomplishment of the faith journey and a gate to the supreme world. The city is viewed with reverence and sanctity by Christians as well. There are those, however, who want it to become an eternal capital for an aggressive racist entity that has had a history full of persecuting the followers of other faiths.

This city that is holy in the Christian conscience, and that has always stimulated the zeal of the Christian peoples, is being emptied quietly and persistently-as you know-of the Arab presence, be it Moslem or Christian; that presence is tremendously diminishing due to the systematic policy adopted against it as individuals and institutions.

Silence leads to and contributes in tightening the Israeli dominance over al-Quods and drives towards a state of nonchalance by many people in the world. Therefore, it is useful to indicate that ending the silence and terminating the nonchalance would be through initiating a clear ecclesiastic stand that calls for liberating al-Quods from the grip of the occupying Zionists and lifting the Israeli dominance off it.

Fighting the Occupiers is a Divine and Human Right

Honorable Supreme Pontiff,

This country, honored by your generous visit today, is still bereaved of a part of its soil that has been under Israeli occupation for almost two decades, besides, the scars of the seasonal massacres and daily killings are still evident in parts of the country. The groans of pain and grief have not been silenced yet.

The occupying enemy relies on tyrannical a might and unlimited support from the USA that provides it with the military aids and political cover.

Driven by our faith and belonging to our homeland, we found ourselves in the position of a people who has to fight the aggressor that occupies its land, as such does every free people.

We know that, in your letter on Bosnia during the civil war, you have asserted the sanctity of the right of self-defense and the legitimacy of taking up arms for that sake.

The Israeli enemy and its American ally want to make resorting to fight the occupying aggressor an illegitimate act; they have been employing their political and media resources and utilizing utilizing their capability of controlling the international public opinion institutions to make that notion prevail.

We address you, hoping that you will give the needed support to the resistance of our oppressed people that has the right to liberate its land from an unjust and tyrant enemy. The oppressed victims of the Qana, Mansouri, Sohmor, Nabatieh and other massacres and the resistance fighters who are sacrificing themselves in Southern Lebanon and West Bekaa are not less sacrificing nor is their cause less just than that of the Polish workmen in Gdansk; for difference in faith is no reason to abate a human right.

Lebanon is a Message of Faith and the one Existence

Honorable Supreme Pontiff,

You have described Lebanon as being a "message" rather than a homeland.

We, the Lebanese, have accepted to seek to live in this homeland of Arab identity and belonging , under a system that ensures justice and equality in the rights and duties of individuals and groups, especially the right of religious belonging and its personal and social requirements.

Marked by religious, cultural, political, party and intellectual diversity, Lebanon must adhere to the principle of public freedoms in legislation and executive procedures in a way that observes this diversity within the framework of national unity.

Every group in Lebanon, whether a party or a sect, has its own set of ideas; however, neither the distinctive characteristic should chasm the nation and, consequently fragmentize or divide it, nor should the common prevalent annul peculiarities in a oppressive tyrannical hybrid monism.

This delicate balance of the distinctive and the common calls for permanent reliance on frank and direct dialogue among all the factions, away from stereotyped projection and excessive apprehension.

Therefore, the artificial emphasis on evoking mutual apprehensions would scatter any hope in building this homeland, that has room for all its children regardless of the difference in their factions and the diversity of their faiths.

On the Islamic-Christian Dialogue

Honorable Supreme Pontiff,

Dialogue is the prophets and apostles' line of conduct: Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) had always been eager to dialogue with the others, and as such did prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) with his people and all the peoples that he had invited to embrace his religion.

Since dialogue is the key for fruitful and constructive cooperation, we see that the time is appropriate to express our desire to precipitate the pattern of the Islamic-Christian dialogue and translate it into cooperation, a part of which was accomplished at some international forums, especially at the population conference in Cairo.

Nevertheless, your recent significant remarks concerning Jews have left negative impressions among the peoples of the region and the Islamic world who feel the intensity of the international policies' injustice, who are looking forward to the stands of upholding the human right, and who are eager to enhance the ties of dialogue and cooperation between Moslems and Christian and to avoid what would disturb these ties' serenity.

Finally, we state that the real dialogue must include the live and effective Islamic powers in the community; it should not be restricted to dialogue with the political authorities, especially if these are one-sided and do not truly represent the political and social texture of their countries.

Honorable Supreme pontiff,

As we welcome you in our beloved country Lebanon, we hope your visit will be successful and prosperous.


(This document is contributed by Hizbullah through Manar TV, Beirut - June 20, 1997)


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