Lebanon: Historic Christian-owned library torched

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent


BEIRUT, LEBANON (Worthy News)-- A blasphemy allegation may have led to an arson attack on an historic library owned by a church leader in Lebanon this month, according to Barnabas Aid.

Two-thirds of the 80,000 books and manuscripts of the Al-Saeh library in Tripoli were destroyed following rumors linking the library to material deemed offensive to Muslims.

Prior to the arson attack, local Muslims were planning a protest, but the library's Christian owner, Ibrahim Srouj, was able to diffuse the volatile atmosphere by meeting with Islamic leaders. When it became clear that Srouj had nothing to do with anything blasphemous, the protest was called off, but the arson occurred regardless.

Local media said Srouj forgave the arsonist(s) and prayed for peace in Tripoli.

Although attacks against Christian property in Lebanon is uncommon, sectarian violence there is increasing as the conflict in Syrian spills over the border.

Lebanon is home to a tenuous balance of Christian, Sunni, Shia, Druze and other religious; at 32 percent, Lebanon has the highest proportion of Christians of any Middle Eastern state.