The Pope visits Lebanon, denounces religious fundamentalism
Pope Benedict XVI, 85, arrived in Lebanon on Friday for a three-day visit amidst protests across the Middle East against an anti-Muslim film, produced in the United States, which ridicules and insults Islam.
WHILE APPEALING for peace and reconciliation among religions, the pope said, “I have come to Lebanon as a pilgrim of peace, as a friend of God and as a friend of men." He termed religious fundamentalism a ‘falsification of religion'.
The was welcomed by the Lebanese president, prime minister and parliament speaker, as well as Christian and Muslim religious leaders at the airport.
With the eruption of violence in northern Lebanon over "Innocence of Muslims” film, the Lebanese authorities have tightened security for the Pope.
While praising the Arab Spring uprisings, the Pope said, "It is the desire for more democracy, for more freedom, for more cooperation and for a renewed Arab identity."