Several weeks ago, - Ikrit, an area on the Lebanese/Israeli border was declared a closed zone during he night.
Several weeks ago, - Ikrit, an area on the Lebanese/Israeli border was declared a closed zone during he night. After some inhabitants of Ikrit contravened the order and stayed in the zone over night, they were refused entry during the day as well.
In an effort to test and protest against the total closure of Ikrit, Archbishop Raya took his congregation to the area on Saturday, (August 18) to try and hold a baptism ceremony in a church there. When the group arrived they were informed that they needed a permit to enter the closed section. Archbishop Raya replied that he did not need to apply to hold a religious ceremony in his own church, and set up an altar on the roadside. Three children were baptised before the Maronite congregation, without interference from the police.
The Israeli authorities maintained that letting the Ikrit inhabitants go back to their homes would constitute a security risk while there was still a state of war between Israel and the Arab countries.