Lebanese patriarch's Holy Land visit to 'surpass borders'
The Lebanon-based Maronite patriarch's historic first visit to Jerusalem to welcome Pope Francis is aimed at strengthening the "Christian presence" in the Middle East, a church official said Wednesday.


Patriarch Bechara Rai's visit was announced earlier this month, prompting condemnation from media close to Hezbollah, which said travelling to the group's arch-enemy Israel would be a "sin."


"Patriarch Bechara Rai aims to surpass borders," the Maronite archbishop in the Holy Land, Mussa al-Hajj, told reporters in the Israeli city of Haifa. (AFP)