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Article published September 14, 2012
Pope calls for religious freedom in Middle East
By The Associated Press
BEIRUT — Pope Benedict XVI appealed today for religious freedom in the Middle East, calling it fundamental for stability in a region bloodied by sectarian strife. Benedict spoke on the second day of his visit to Lebanon, a country with the largest percentage of Christians in the Middle East. He arrived amid a wave of violent demonstrations over an anti-Islam film across the Muslim world. “Let us not forget that religious freedom is a fundamental right from which many other rights stem,” he said. He held up Lebanon, which is still rebuilding from a devastating 1975-1990 civil war largely fought on sectarian lines, as an example of coexistence for the region.