INTRODUCTION: Christians around the world have begun observing Easter week - one of the most important religious periods in the Christian Calendar.
INTRODUCTION: Christians around the world have begun observing Easter week - one of the most important religious periods in the Christian Calendar. But one nation on the edge of the birthplace of Christianity, Lebanon, has been experiencing some difficulty in observing the event. In a nation still divided between Christians and Moslem, continued fighting has curbed the traditional Christian festivals.
SYNOPSIS: Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday with parades recalling the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem with crowds laying down olive and palm branches for his donkey to walk on.
In Lebanon, Palm Sunday observations were confined to 'safe' Christian areas like the village of Kaserwan. Holy Week ends with Services marking the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. The cornerstone of Christian faith symbolising rebirth. Lebanon itself had begun to experience its now rebirth after the civil war Which lasted for 19 bitter months, but even as the Christian community was observing the event, fierce fighting was reported to have erupted once again in Southern Lebanon, near the sensitive border with Israel.
The reports say right-wing offensive to -re-establish control of the region along the border was meeting stiff opposition from occupying left-wing lebanese Moslem and Palestinian forces. The fighting was continuing despite last November's ceasefire, officially ending the civil war.