September 14th, 2012
12:46 PM ET

Pope Benedict begins trip to Lebanon amid Mideast protests, violence

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Beirut, Lebanon, on Friday for a previously scheduled trip as anti-American protests and violence spurred by an anti-Islamic film roiled the Mideast, including in Lebanon.

Police killed one person in Tripoli, Lebanon, on Friday after a group of armed men stormed a restaurant amid protests in the city, Lebanese security forces told CNN.

"I have come to Lebanon as a pilgrim of peace, as a friend of God and as a friend of men,” Benedict said in a public address Friday afternoon at Beirut’s airport, where he was greeted by Lebanese President Michel Sleiman.

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“Looking beyond your country, I also come symbolically to all the countries of the Middle East as a pilgrim of peace, as a friend of God and as a friend of all the inhabitants of all the countries of the region, whatever their origins and beliefs,” Benedict said as he began a three-day trip to Lebanon.

About 40 armed men were spotted among hundreds of protesters in Tripoli on Friday, Lebanese officials said.

Anti-American rage sparked by an online film that insulted Islam's prophet boiled over Friday among Muslims in at least half a dozen countries, as the United States stepped up security at diplomatic posts across the Middle East.

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Aware that protests were planned for Friday - the Muslim holy day - the United States beefed up security at its embassies and consulates across the Middle East.

The unrest began Tuesday when outrage over a 14-minute American-made online video that mocks the Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer, child molester and ruthless killer sparked riots at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Four America consulate staffers were killed, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

U.S. officials suspect that a group sympathetic to al Qaeda used the protests over the film as cover for the complex and well-coordinated attack on the consulate.

In Lebanon, Benedict praised the Lebanese people for providing a model on how believers of various religions could coexist peacefully, calling it an “equilibrium” that is “extremely delicate.”

“Sometimes it seems about to snap like a bow which is overstretched or submitted to pressures which are too often partisan, even selfish, contrary and extraneous to Lebanese harmony and gentleness,” Benedict said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Lebanon • Middle East

soundoff (417 Responses)
  1. ScottCA

    Religion = imaginative fantasy based in no evidence believed by mentally lazy people, who can't think for themselves.

    September 15, 2012 at 12:38 am |
  2. !!!!!!!!!

    Taken from the book; "Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat" of Dr. Peter Hammond

    As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will for the most part be regarded as a "peace-loving" minority, and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in:
    the U.S. — 0.6%; Australia — 1.5%; Canada – 1.9%; China — 1.8%; Italy — 1.5%; Norway — 1.8%.

    At 2% – 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. This is happening in:
    Denmark — 2%; Germany — 3.7%; the UK — 2.7%; Spain — 4%; Thailand — 4.6%.

    From 5% +, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves – along with threats for failure to comply. This is occurring in:
    France — 8%;Philippines — 5%; Sweden — 5%; Switzerland — 4.3%;The Netherlands — 5.5%; Trinidad & Tobago — 5.8%.

    At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world.
    When Muslims approach 10% + of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris, we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam, with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam. Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Muslim sections in:
    Guyana — 10%;India — 13.4%;Israel — 16%;Kenya — 10%;Russia — 15%.

    After reaching 20% +, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, such as in:
    Ethiopia — 32.8%.

    At 40% +, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare, such as in:
    Bosnia — 40%;Chad — 53.1%;Lebanon — 59.7%.

    From 60% +, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels, such as in:
    Albania — 70%;Malaysia — 60.4%;Qatar — 77.5%;Sudan — 70%.

    After 80% +, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced and in some ways is on-going in:
    Bangladesh — 83%;Egypt — 90%;Gaza — 98.7%;Indonesia — 86.1%;Iran — 98%;Iraq — 97%;Jordan — 92%;Morocco — 98.7%;Pakistan — 97%;Palestine — 99%;Syria — 90%;Tajikistan — 90%;Turkey — 99.8%;UAE — 96%.

    100% will usher in the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ — the Islamic House of Peace. Here there’s supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrasses are the only schools, and Quran is the only word, such as in:
    Afghanistan — 100%;Saudi Arabia — 100%;Somalia — 100%;Yemen — 100%.

    Unfortunately, peace is never achieved, as in these 100% Muslim states the most radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust by killing less radical Muslims, for a variety of reasons...

    September 15, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • ScottCA

      Thanks very interesting stats.

      September 15, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  3. saggyroy

    Religion is as religion does.

    September 14, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
  4. Reality

    Only for new members of this blog:

    Money wasted as the "vomit-inducing" ped-ophilia and coverup will simply hasten the decline of all religions as they finally go extinct from their own absurdity.. It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like "Do No Harm" and voluntarily convert all houses of "worthless worship" to recreation facilities and parks

    September 14, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  5. Wile E. Coyote

    Popeferatu still looks like a vampire.

    September 14, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • saggyroy

      Which way to the boys locker room? I haven't had anything to eat since the airport rest room.

      September 14, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  6. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    The only other people besides schizophrenics who claim to see, talk to or hear from "god" are religious freaks!

    September 14, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  7. Religion is a delusional misinterpretation of reality

    When you believe in magic invisible superbuddies, it's the sane people who appear to be insane to you. It's a relativity thing.

    September 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  8. Atheism Is A Learning Disability

    But don't give up, help is on the way!

    September 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry " Atheism Is A Learning Disability", but you assertions regarding atheism are unfounded. I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 14, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  9. John Stefanyszyn

    What cmmon "fundamentalist" belief do the religious Christians, Muslims, Jews and others believe in?
    ....the fundementalist belief in freedom of self-rights.

    Man says that his "way" is right.
    Man says that the Way of God is not right.

    But soon Christ, the Son of the One True Creator, will make the One Truth evident.

    September 14, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Hmmmm, that's what they were saying TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO wasn't it?

      September 14, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Why does that sound so familiar...oh right that same idiocy has been sputed for the past 2000 years with absolutely nothing happening.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      AGH Zeus you beat me to it.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Leo

      2 Peter 3

      3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”

      Thanks for fulfilling scripture for us!!

      September 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Leo

      8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      And that's been happening for 2000 years as well. Leo, your Big Book of Multiple Choice is only relevant for those who already believe.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Leo.....PULEEZ, dude! Check Matthew 24:29-34 (King James Version). Jeezus said he was coming RIGHT BACK.....and that was pert near 2000 years ago!

      29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Leo

      Zeus, Matthew 24 is the Olivet Disourse is about the End of the Age,

      Matthew 24

      3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

      September 14, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Leo

      Matthew 24

      9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

      Zeus where does it say he is coming right back?

      This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

      Almost Complete!!

      September 14, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Leo: Right, and Jeezus said he was coming RIGHT BACK! What do you think "This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled" means? He meant y'all (referring to his disciples and the other people living at that time) ain't gonna die before I return.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Anytime those primitive farmers mentioned "the whole world" we know nowadays that they didn't have a CLUE as to what that really meant. They only knew of nearby lands such as what bordered the Mediterranean Sea. Furthermore, "predictions" in any ancient book are worthless unless they can name SPECIFIC future events, names, scores at sporting events, when to sell or buy stocks, etc., which your worthless tome of a bible certainly DOES NOT!!!

      September 14, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Leo

      Zeus many people who don't dig deep into the scriptures and the original Greek words translated into english IE "This generation "

      Genea is used as a Generation, a Tribe or People Group IE the Jews, which according to the scriptures would reject the Messiah and be scattered to the world and then be gathered n the last days. IE Israel 1948 Reborn = Awesome!

      September 14, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Yeah, I'm well familiar with how you religious FVKS spin the words to mean whatever you need it to mean....especially after the obvious meaning has already become painfully DISPROVEN to have happened! What you point out could so easily mean the people who he was talking to at the time....the very people in his community....iow Jews.

      September 14, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      And let me emphasize that that would mean ONLY the Jews that were alive at the time. IOW the generation of people who were alive when he was.

      September 14, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Leo

      Zeus, here is a link for you on the word translated into Generation. I am not spinning anything. Read the Bible, dig deep into the truth and who knows it may save you some day!


      September 14, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Like I said, dolt, you religious freaks just keep changing the meaning of the static words in the bible to suit any new facts that are discovered over the milennia. Oh well when those ignorant goatherds said "god created the heavens and the earth" they may not have been able to see 13 billion light years away into distant and very ancient galaxies, but they MUST HAVE MEANT oh just everything including THAT. They might not have known about dinosaurs and microbes but they MUST HAVE MEANT that too! When they said Noah's Great Flood covered the WHOLE WORLD, even though they didn't have any satellites with cameras or even any ships that were capable of circu-mnavigating the WHOLE WORLD such that they could verify the fact, they still MUST HAVE MEANT that! Even though Jeezus said he was coming back before his generation died out and then failed to do so, they MUST HAVE MEANT something else....like....oh.....gee, what can we make up to fit because Jeezus couldn't have been lying or else our religion will fall apart.....oh, it MUST HAVE MEANT the entire population of Jews forever and ever on the face of the planet! Sure! Anything you want it to mean. It's so va-gue, after all, you can easily get away with making it sound like it meant ANYTHING, so go for it! DOLT!

      September 14, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  10. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    If the azzhole known as Pope- a-Dope had a working brain cell, he would stay home and help ease tensions in the middle east. But no, he must carry on with his "my imaginary friend is better than your imaginary friend" tour.

    September 14, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  11. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    How can anyone witness this ape-$h|+ reaction in the Middle East and not come to the conclusion that modern humans are descended from earlier forms of primates? NEWS FLASH: Evolutionists have discovered that the "missing link" was right under their noses all this time.....in the form of Muslims!

    September 14, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  12. thecollegeadmissionsguru

    I am a liberal, but I think if anyone breaches an American Embasy we should Shoot to Kill! If we kill a few dozen of them I'd bet they'd think before they enter our land.

    September 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  13. !!!!!!!!!

    Few 100% true Reasons why Islam is a terrible and evil religion to stay far away from...

    1. "Prophet" Muhammed was an evil & disgusting pédophile who had several wives like a maniac!
    2. Islam = submission. Allah tell Muslims to submit to his will; otherwise he will torture and torment you in life for eternity. Allah also permits war and violence against non-Muslims!
    3. Islam treats non-adherents worse than animals. If they are people of the books (Christians or Jews), classify them as "dhimmis" and make them pay a special tax (Jizya) to the Islamic government, or they should be enslave, rob, rápe, and lynch them as you please unless they convert to Islam.
    4. Death Penalty for any Muslims leaving Islam, being gay, atheist or insulting Muhammed.
    5. Quran: "Men are better than women", "Men could have many wives", "Men could hit their wives" etc.
    6. Unlike Christians – Muslims pray and serve Allah, rather than praying for themselves or someone else.
    7. Islam is the most violent Religion by far –>> http://www.thereligionofpeace.com <<–
    8. Muslims frequently persecute and kill Christians unless they convert to their cult. Churches have either been converting into Mosque. (Hagia Sophia an example) or being burned down in Islamic countries.
    9. Non-Muslims are forbidden visiting Mecca, and no freedom of/from religion in Saudi Arabia & many other Islamic nations.
    10. Islam is spreading like rats in western countries (Europe & North America), and seek to spread their "Sharia Laws", as well as trying to convert as many people to their "peaceful" religion and ev. taking over the nation.
    They start by opening mosques and marry Christian or Jewish women so they will convert to Islam and raise Muslim kids.
    11. It is the DUTY of every Muslim to expand Islam and strive for world domination.
    12. Quran is nothing but hate and violence. Muslim children are brainwashed and brought up with violence and hatred towards non-Muslims. God forbid you are Christian minority in any Muslim country!
    13. Islam says they believe in Jesus (Isa), yet they deny his words and the Bible.
    14. Muslims in western nations tries to act 'nice and tolerant' to make non-Muslims believe & think their evil religion is peaceful so people fall into their cult and convert! Blacks, prisoners, and poor women are the main targeted!

    May our Lord save us from Islam and its violence & disgusting people!

    Muslims could openly practice their religion freely in western (Christian) nations, but Christians or any Non-Muslims would risk getting their head cut off doing so in any Islamic nation, both secular and extremist !! 🙁

    !!!! The more freedom we give those Muslims by letting them wearing their scary Islamic clothes, opening mosques (paying no tax), shoveling their evil religion in our throats, wanting Sharia Laws, etc. – the more problems will be caused !!!!
    !!!! Most Muslims are extremists, and even "moderate" Muslims still support them, so we should NOT tolerate them and we should BAN Islam unless they allow other religious minority in their countries to live in peace !!!!!.

    September 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • amr ahmed

      that's not true about islam. that is the islam of wahhabi movement which appears from only 300 years in Saudi Arabia and start to spread in the last 30 years in all arabian countries due to the high precentage of ignorance and poverty the prophet mohamed was a great man who make a graet empire from nothing if you want to know islam ask azhar in eygpt they will give you right answers .

      September 14, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 14, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but you assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  15. I AM

    Why did you leave lofty, holy Heaven to sleep with women and, to defile yourselves with the daughters of men and take them as your wives, and like the children of the earth to beget sons, in your case giants? Though you were holy and spiritual, living the eternal life, you defile yourself with the blood of women, you begot children with the blood of flesh, and like the others you have lusted after flesh and blood as do those who perish. Because they perish I gave them wives so they might impregnate them, have children, and nothing be lacking on the earth. But you were spiritual and immortal for all generations of the world. So I gave you no wives, for Heaven is your proper dwelling place."

    September 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      after all these year you still don't know,.. dude your a duchebag, the answer is so simple but yet you cannot conceive it.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  16. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    Why can't we deport Westboro Baptist Church to some Muzlim country? There are so many to choose from! They would love it there since they share so many beliefs: they hate America, they hate Israel, they hate h0mos&xuals......

    September 14, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Every human must hate hinduism, denial of truth absolute.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Mohammed A Dar: Perhaps you do not understand the irony of my statement.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  17. Iwilli02

    So many of the atheists here seem to be arguing that God does not exist because Christians can, and have, done bad things.
    Really, by that reasoning my parents, who taught right from wrong, must not exist because I said a bad word.
    Let's try some logic for a change...

    September 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      They are hindu, ignorant s, nothing can exist without God, truth absolute. And they know the truth absolute God, but deny "HIM" in their hindu Judaism, filthy self center ism, secularism.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Ok, I'm an atheist 'cause there's not a shred of evidence for any god. Prove me wrong.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      on the second thought, they are anyone but Muslims, ignorant s, nothing can exist without Allah, truth absolute. And they know the truth absolute Mohammed, but deny "HIM" in their atheist Judaism, filthy self center ism, secularism. Allah-O-Akbar, the denier of truth Absolute 36*

      September 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  18. AvdBerg

    The Pope is not the vicar of Christ but rather a false apostle and a vicar of a false Christ who serves the spirit of this world and who deceives all the followers of his church (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15)

    For a better understanding of the history and doctrines of the Catholic Church and all its deceptions, we invite you to read the articles ‘The Mystery Babylon’, ‘Popes and the Princes of This World’, ‘S.exual Abuse in the Churches’ and ‘S.exual Abuse – Vatican Involvement’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as
    confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:55 pm |

      This poster is a TROLL on this blog, they have been proven LIARS over and over again – and they are only here to sell their book to support their cult. Click the report abuse link to get rid of this TROLL!!

      September 14, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      Troll Alert

      As long as you don't have a message to share; why should people listen to you? At least we share the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive (John 14:17).

      September 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Worse than a troll, exploiting the terrible news of the world for profit suggests a des-picable human being to me.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      From book of hindu Mithra ism, savior ism relabeled as Christianity to hind fool humanity called bible.
      To know causes of mayhem among humanity, handy work of hindu Jew's, criminal self centered, denier of truth absolute, please visit http://www.limitisthetruth.com/blog.html and click on word Choice to open file.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      midwest rail

      False Accusations.

      In twenty eight years of service we have never requested or accepted a penny from our work.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • mama kindless

      Revelation?? Everyone knows whoever wrote that mess was high as a kite. Probably crashed his camel in a lake of bath salts. St. John the Opium Addict, evidently.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm |

      "As long as you don't have a message to share; why should people listen to you? At least we share the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive (John 14:17)."

      We have shown you that you have lied over and over again, you don't know what the word truth really means.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  19. dave836

    Man, if the Pope gets shot by one of those extremists over there, just think of the cultural mess that's gonna cause. You think Christians and Muslims hate each other now? Just wait...

    September 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Nah


      I dunno...probably not worth the bullets. RCC will just make another one (pope), and this one would get to be a "martyr".

      September 14, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  20. 2357

    This trip could get real messy in an instant. Hey why don't we just send Dick Dawkins instead. That could be a wildly intriguing experiment! I'd pay for his ticket there, one way of course.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.