WHO IS BEHIND THE CEDAR REVOLUTION?
Posted on March 15, 2005 at 6:30 pm
However, there was only one man who had the courage to speak the truth, one man who was called later “the opposition leader” or “the spiritual director of the opposition”. It was the Patriarch of the powerful Maronite Church: Mar Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir.
This man of God had the courage to speak out. Who was the one who gave the Patriarch courage to speak? What was the thing that gave him strength to speak? Did he have weapons? No. Did he have soldiers? No. What did he have? The Patriarch had Faith in God, in the Eucharist.
God had indeed seen the misery of the Lebanese people. He had heard them crying for help on account of their oppressors. God was aware of their sufferings. And He had come down to rescue them from the clutches of the Tyrant and bring them out of slavery. God had seen the cruel way in which the oppressors were treating them.(Exodus 3:7-9).
God chose the Patriarch to set his people free.
The Mission began. It was on September 20, 2000, when the Patriarch launched his first appeal. It was shocking to all Lebanese. It made them feel their hearts beating. “What could happen? Should we talk? or should we stay silent.” Confused and fearful, the reaction of the Lebanese was like the reaction of an abused person whose relationship with his abuser is described “unhealthy” or “abnormal”. Some people were afraid. The Tyrant appointed religious figures to call the Patriarch names and give the Lebanese people an impression that Christians & Muslims are divided.
The Patriarch did not listen to these voices of darkness. His God was his light and his salvation, whom should he fear? A small opposition Christian group was born.
The Patriarch visited the USA to meet president Bush. But Bush did not welcome him. That was before the great plague that struck the USA: September 11, 2001.
The Patriarch made his historical visit to his people in the USA & Canada. He called them to have confidence in their country Lebanon. “Do not lose heart, have confidence, for it is not your battle but God’s.”
The Patriarch Nasrallah came back to Lebanon. 150,000 people (from Christian region) welcomed him, calling the Tyrant to get out. The Tyrant appointed another Nasrallah (Hezbollah) to make another demonstration to give the impression that Christians & Muslims are divided. 150,000 people demonstrated in support of the oppressor.
The Patriarch continued to gather while the Tyrant continued to scatter. The Patriarch made the historical reconciliation between the Druze & Christian communities.
But the tyrant became furious. He threw hundreds of young people in jails under the pretext of conspiracy against the government. Many people were intimidated.
The opposition demonstrated with candles. The pro-Tyrant demonstrated with knives.
The Patriarch launched his second appeal, a few days before September 11.
The Opposition group began to speak out. The Tyrant created a pro-Tyrant Christian group to give the impression that not all Christians are anti-Tyrant and that the opposition is a real minority. But this group did not last too long, because it was not based on truth.
The Tyrant continued to intimidate the Lebanese people. He assassinated some. He threw in jail many. He shut down the opposition TV (MTV).
In October, the Patriarch launched his third appeal.
The Opposition continued to grow. The Tyrant continued to instill fear in people’s hearts.
He assassinated innocent people.
The Patriarch launched his fourth appeal in September.
The Patriarch launched his fifth appeal in September. It was the most powerful appeal. It was the toughest one against the Tyrant. The Tyrant tried to change the Lebanese Constitution. The opposition began to grow.
The Druze leader opposed the Tyrant. The oppressor tried to assassinate Hamade (a druze politician), to keep the Druze mute. But the Druze people joined the opposition and became spearhead of the opposition.
The Tyrant killed the Sunni leader Hariri. The Sunnis joined the opposition.
The Tyrant tried to convince the world that the opposition are a minority in the country. Therefore, he appointed another Nasrallah to gather 300,000 people to show the world that those who oppose his policy are a minority. The pro-tyrant demonstration was impressive. It was huge. It scared many people. It even affected the world view over the situation in Lebanon.
The Lebanese people did not fall into despair: “When the wicked advance against me to eat me up, they, my opponents, my enemies are the ones who stumble and fall.” (Psalm 27:2). The Tyrant tried to scare people speaking of violence. But the Lebanese people did not give up: “Though an army pitch camp against me, my heart will not fear, though war break out against me, my trust will never be shaken.” (Psalm 27:3).
The world was at the point to believe that the opposition is really a minority.
But on March 14, 2005, the people of Lebanon proved to the whole world that those who ask for freedom and independence represent the majority in Lebanon.
Over one million 100% Lebanese flooded in the squares and streets of Beirut.
This time the abused Lebanon was able to face peacefully his abuser. With good intentions and a loving heart, they tend their hands towards all Lebanese, including the other Nasrallah.
The people of Lebanon are very close to freedom and independence.
As the man who was possessed by a demon that kept him mute was liberated (Luke 11:14-23), the people of Lebanon who were kept mute for 3 decades were finally liberated.
The whole world watched this miracle and were inspired. The Cedar Revolution left the Arab world in shock and they were inspired.
What is behind the success of the Cedar Revolution?
It is not easy to proclaim a Revolution to defeat the Tyrant when you have no weapons nor soldiers.
It is not easy to proclaim a Revolution when your people are enslaved, oppressed, exiled, imprisoned, rendered poor, living under a totalitarian regime.
You are enslaved, without weapons, isolated, fearful, abused day and night, not allowed to speak out. What would you do in order to find freedom? To whom will you turn to? If you turn to a powerful nation (like the USA), you will be called a traitor. If you ask for Freedom, you will be called a Zionist. If you say I feel pain, you will be accused of not being a loving brother but an enemy. What kind of Revolution will you follow? If you follow the Palestinian example of Revolution (Intifada), you will be destroyed. If you follow the French example of Revolution, you will be crushed.
All that you need in order to be liberated, is a Cedar Revolution.
What is the Cedar Revolution?
“To what shall we compare the [Cedar Revolution], or what parable can we use for it? [Mark 4:30].
“The [Cedar Revolution] is like a mustard seed that [the Patriarch] took and sowed in [Lebanon].” [Mat 13:31].
It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the [Lebanese people from different denominations] come and dwell in its branches.'” [Mat 13:32].
“The [Cedar Revolution] is like yeast that [the Patriarch] took and mixed with [all Lebanese denominations] until the whole [Lebanon] was leavened.” [Mat 13:33].
“This is how it is with the Cedar Revolution; it is as if [the Patriarch] were to scatter [his words of Truth] on [Lebanon] and would sleep and rise night and day and [his words] would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord [Lebanon] yields fruit, first the [Druze], then the [Sunnis], then the [Shiites]. And when [it is time], the [Patriarch] wields the sickle at once, for the [Independence] has come."[Mark 4:26-29]
This Cedar Revolution can never be reached and succeeded unless it is based on the culture of peace & love despite persecution & terror. In other words, the Cedar Revolution can succeed only if it is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The teaching of Jesus is the secret behind the success of the Cedar Revolution.
What is the Strategy?
The Cedar Revolution consists in Truth, Trust & Love in order to win the hearts of all people, and consequently defeat the Tyrant. In order to win the hearts and minds of all your people, you need to follow the following strategy:
1- No Despair: “Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.” [Mat 10:26]. All that the secret intelligence is doing will be revealed.
2- Expose evil: “What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.” [Mat 10:27]. Start to use media (Newspaper, radio, TV, Internet) to expose the evil deeds of the Tyrant but prudently. As a result, the Tyrant may hurt some of you (assassination, prison, exile, bearing false testimonies against you).
3- No Fear of Terror: “And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” [Mat 10:28]. Don’t allow fear to overcome you.
4- Love your enemies: “But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” [Luke 6:27].
The Tyrant will try to divide you, to give you an impression that some of your people are real enemies against your freedom. Do good to these “enemies”. Tell them that you love their person but not evil. That’s what the Patriarch did. He expressed his love towards the pro-oppressors, but he spoke the Truth about the evil deeds that were happening. The Tyrant usually gets furious when he is loved, but he remains paralyzed and confused. If you practice this teaching, you will win the hearts of many people, even the hearts of your adversaries.
5- “Bless those who curse you” [Luke 6:28]: It is very wise not to be drawn into an argument with those who curse you. That’s what the Patriarch did. He did not respond to the voices who called him names and to those who cursed him.
The Patriarch’s and the Opposition’s non-reaction in front of curses and hatred won thousands of people’s hearts.
6- “Pray for those who mistreat you.” [Luke 6:28]:
7- No violence: “To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic.” [Luke 6:29]. That reminds me of the pro-tyrant demonstration with knives and rifles and the opposition demonstration with candles in 2001.
8- No Personal Interest: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself”. [Luke 9:23]. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” [Luke 9:24]. Put your love for your people above your personal interest.
9- Bear Persecution: “Take up [your] cross daily and follow me.” [Luke 9:23]. “What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?” [Luke 9:25]. That reminds me of the thousands of young people who experienced imprisonment and physical & emotional abuse.
10- Never Judge: “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” [Luke 6:37]. The Patriarch never judged the persons of the pro-Tyrant, but he spoke out about the abuses. Their own deeds and words will judge them and destroy them.