Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - About 1600 boys and girls from over 40 countries will take part in the World Ecumenical Youth Meeting, scheduled in Beirut from 22 to 26 March. The ecumenical meeting is organized and sponsored by the Churches of Lebanon, the Council of Middle Eastern Churches and the Community of Taizé. Most of the participants are young Christians belonging to the different communities scattered in the Countries of the Middle East. On March 25, on the occasion of the Feast of the Annunciation, young Christians will also join Muslim boys and girls, to participate together in the celebrations in honor of the Virgin Mary.
In Lebanon, since 2010, the Marian solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord was proclaimed a national holiday, with the declared intention of finding in the devotion to Mary - shared also among Muslims - a point of convergence between the different religious communities. Each year, on the occasion of this festival, celebrations are held in various parts of the Country, especially in Marian shrines - such as that of Notre Dame de Nourieh and that of Notre Dame de Jamhour - by Islamic-Christian dialogue organizations, starting with the Ensemble Autour de Marie group, that also take care of moments of reflection accompanied by songs in Arabic, Latin and Aramaic. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 12/3/2019)