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Lebanese Maronite patriarch who opposed Syrian army presence dies

REUTERS/Jamal Saidi/File Photo

Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, the former patriarch of Lebanon’s Maronite church who presented himself as a champion of Christian rights and pushed for Syrian forces to leave his country, died early on Sunday, state news agency NNA reported.

Born in Reifoun in Lebanon’s mountainous Kisrwan district in 1920, Sfeir played a prominent role from the time of the 1975-90 civil war. He resigned as patriarch in 2011.

The Maronite church, which follows an Eastern rite of the Roman Catholic Church, is Lebanon’s largest Christian community and the role of president is reserved for one of its members under the country’s sectarian power sharing system.


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