Tunisian Catholics urged to support democracy

July 25, 2011
Archbishop Maroun Lahham

Archbishop Maroun Lahham

Tunisia's tiny Catholic community prays for the country's transition to democracy and hopes that the nation will embrace full religious freedom, said Archbishop Maroun Lahham of Tunis.

The archbishop wrote a pastoral letter on the attitude that Tunisia's 22,000 Catholics — all of whom are foreigners — should have toward the North African country's political and social changes.

Tunisia's authoritative government was overthrown in January and a process of democratization began.

"A healthy democratic society must have as its foundation values that, whatever anyone says, have a religious root: freedom, respect, peace, equality, the preferential option for the poor, solidarity," Lahham said.

For Christians, he said, the first wish "is to see the country finally arrive at a democratic regime."