CWN - Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai has warned that the presence of 2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon is straining the fabric of that country.

“Even with all our solidarity with the refugees, the Lebanese hope that the process to guarantee them a safe return to their country,” the Patriarch said.

Peraching as a Mass attended by Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, the Maronite Patriarch praised the “good intentions” of the government in welcoming refugees, but observed that the costs of providing for the refugees have fallen on the people of Lebanon, causing economic difficulties and prodding many of the country’s own residents to emigrate.

The Maronite prelate—Lebanon’s primary Christian leader—spoke out at a time when the Lebanese military has begun security operations in refugee camps, hoping to neutralize militant Syrian factions that have begun to organize and arm themselves within the camps.

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Transfiguration

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, * showing Your glory to Your Disciples as far as they were able to bear it. * Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * let Your everlasting Light shine also upon us sinners. * O Giver of Light, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 7)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Upon the mountain You were transfigured, O Christ God, * and Your Disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could receive it, * so that when they would see You crucified, * they would understand that You suffered willingly; * and they would preach to the world * that You are truly the radiance of the Father. (Kontakion, Tone 7)