Pope: Lebanon must remain a ‘land of tolerance, pluralism’

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis is insisting that Lebanon must remain a “land of tolerance and pluralism.” He issued the appeal as he welcomed the country’s Christian patriarchs to the Vatican to pray for an end to the economic and political crisis that has thrown the country into chaos and threatened its Christian community. Francis presided over an evening prayer service in St. Peter’s Basilica with the leaders of Lebanon’s Christian churches that featured prayers and hymns in Arabic, Syriac, Armenian and Chaldean. During Thursday’s service, Francis insisted that Lebanon’s vocation was to be an “oasis of fraternity where different religions and confessions meet … putting the common good before their individual interests.”