As claimed by patriarch Rai, the Maronite Church alone owns over 60% of the Lebanese land. In addition, the Greek Orthodox Church is the largest land-owner in Beirut. Other statistics show that about 31% of private schools are owned by the Maronite Church and a significant percent by the other churches. And there is much more that shows extreme wealth including huge amounts of gold and money owned by the churches in Lebanon.
Lebanon is in an economic meltdown and the following measures can very significantly reduce poverty and suffering:
- Nationalize all Church property and place all their land and assets in the hands of various cooperatives. Farmland can be distributed to farmer cooperatives,
- Schools and universities can be placed under parent-teacher cooperatives which would lower costs on parents by 70% or more (see notes below).
- Other investments as well as gold and money can be used to alleviate the conditions of all poor people in Lebanon.
- Other church property, including churches, can be repurposed as shelters or towards various community functions such as youth clubs.
Such action is much more than fair. It is just restitution for extensive exploitation by the church, for its extensive partnerships with the most egregious of the corrupt Lebanese leadership and for its extensive other crimes that include pedophilia, blackmail, fraud and many other crimes against the people. Most Lebanese know this and here’s a very small sample of the commonly known facts:
- Patriarch Raii has forbidden anyone to take any measures against Riad Salameh who is even now being prosecuted for money laundering and ill-gotten gains and other crimes in several European countries.
- Many Lebanese newspapers have provided evidence of widespread fraud and illegal profits by many private schools, including Catholic/Maronite ones, in Lebanon whereas they are supposed to be non-profit. I, myself, was on a parent’s committee and was able to see direct evidence of these crimes before I was side-lined. My estimate is that tuition is composed of up to 70% profits or more with widespread fraud. Apparently, this has been going on since I was a child 50 years ago according to a former school accountant. There’s more but many people who testified to me did so on condition of confidentiality.
- As an example of partnership in corruption, The Maronite Church is in partnership with two Lebanese warlords in the cement industry which has also been implicated in extortionist pricing within Lebanon where they sell at a price of up to 500% more expensive than for export! The cement industry has also been accused of illegal excessive pollution that has led to extremely high cancer rates near where they operate.
- Most Lebanese who have gone to Catholic schools have either witnessed or been the victims of pedophilia or violence by priests, nuns, bishops or even (eventual) patriarch. I myself am a witness. I saw a nun forcing a schoolfriend to eat from the floor a regurgitated eggplant dish. That schoolmate who was in my class but in boarding school told me how he was subjected to extensive sexual abuse by that nun. At the time, I didn’t even understand or even know the words “sexual abuse”. To this day, maybe 50 years later, I am unable to eat anything that has eggplant in it. And there’s much more that I and others have witnessed. Even the Pope admitted that such crime reached the highest echelons of the church and yet not one church thug has been imprisoned.
- The Maronite legal courts in Lebanon (dubbed “spiritual courts”) are rife with corruption, blackmail and exploitation and everyone knows it. A bishop I know was asked to reform it. After a short time, he gave up because he said it was hopeless. He never considered reporting this to the media or to governmental courts but accepted the evil be allowed to continue. He is therefore, just as guilty as the rest.
It is more than time to take action and to end and outlaw this evil and corrupt institution called the church. Their schools teach hate, corruption and obedience to corrupt authority. Their just demise can serve a good cause in Lebanon’s “hour of need”.
For Lebanon to live its churches must die with, hopefully, no resurrection.