The Associated Press
BEIRUT — Soldiers set up roadblocks and patrolled streets in downtown Beirut before Pope Benedict XVI arrived for an open-air Mass, the major public event of his three-day visit to Lebanon to press for peace and reconciliation between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East.
Tens of thousands of pilgrims from across the region are expected to attend Sunday's Mass on the Lebanese capital's waterfront.
Benedict has been appealing for tolerance and religious freedom.
At a meeting with young people Saturday evening, the pope said he admired the courage of Syrian youth and that he did not forget their suffering.
The papal visit comes amid soaring sectarian tensions in the region, exacerbated by the conflict in Syria, which is in the throes of an 18-month-old civil war.
- Court: Mormon church, members not liable in...
- Switched at birth, man raised in poverty...
- Obama: Income inequality a defining challenge
- Actor Paul Walker dies in car crash; was...
- Research: Native American genes have Eurasian...
- Detroit officially enters bankruptcy
- Newtown releases 911 calls showing anguish...
- Saving Africa? New book casts harsh light on...
- Obama: Income inequality a defining... 71
- Croatians vote against same-sex marriage 43
- Court: Mormon church, members not... 33
- Fast food outlets planning strike for... 25
- Obama declares health care law is... 20
- Notre Dame sues over health care law's... 19
- Detroit officially enters bankruptcy 18
- Research: Native American genes have... 14