CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 26, 2001 ( On Aug. 19, at the end of the recitation of the Angelus, John Paul II made the following appeal in favor of the numerous Christians detained by the authorities in Lebanon, who are accused of collaboration with Israel:

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To the dramatic situation that grips the Holy Land, in recent days serious political tensions in Lebanon have been added, following a series of detentions that place obstacles to national dialogue.

I appeal to the sense of responsibility of the authorities of this beloved nation, which has suffered so much because of internal divisions. Let´s hope that the values of democracy and national sovereignty are not sacrificed to current political interests. A pluralist and free Lebanon is a richness for the whole Near East region. It is hoped that all Lebanese will help to preserve it and make it bear fruit.

[translation from L´Osservatore Romano]


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