The Church of Lebanon

05/04/2012 at 12:46 Deixe um comentário

England flagDescribing a strange church which there is near my house.

I’ve always thought quite strange a church which is in my neighborhood… The first reason is its name: The Church of Lebanon! I really didn’t know that there are churches in Lebanon. Would they go to mosques?! I thought Lebanon was an 100% Muslim country… The second reason, and that most impressed me, is its architecture and decoration. It really seems something Arab…

The Church of Lebanon in Fortaleza, Brazil.

The Church of Lebanon in Fortaleza, Brazil.

The Church of Lebanon is located in an upscale neighborhood of Fortaleza, called Meireles, and it’s five or six blocks from the beach, among very high buildings. It’s a Catholic church, but quite different from the traditional Catholic churches in Brazil. In fact The Church of Lebanon is a Melkite Greek Catholic Church! You may be wondering: “God, what’s this?!”. Take it easy! I’ll explain… I’ve just learnt about this on Internet…

The Melkite Greek Catholic Church is a kind of Eastern Catholic Church, which appeared shortly after Christ, with the establishment of Christianity in the Near East. It uses Byzantine Rite Catholics and its official languages are Greek and Arabic. Around 7% of Lebanon’s population is Melkite. There are only four churches like that in Brazil.

The inside is very colorful.

The inside is very colorful.

The Church of Lebanon was built in 1960 by the Syrian-Lebanese community that has lived in Fortaleza since the late of 19th century. I don’t know who exactly designed it, but certainly it was inspired by Arabian architecture. It isn’t very long, but it’s high, and the shape of the building is almost a cube. On top there are two round towers which resemble the tops of mosques. Over each one there is a little cross. The main door is a bit big and over it, on the wall, there is a beautiful painting where we can see a man and a child that are wishing welcome. I suppose they’re Jesus in two different ages, but I’m not sure because the man is wearing an Arab robe and doesn’t have that traditional beard…

Inside The Church of Lebanon it’s quite dark, because there aren’t many windows and they’re small. Because of this the inside is a bit hot and there are some fans on the wall. Nevertheless, the most interesting things are lots of huge and colorful pictures on the wall and on the roof. I think these paintings show us some Catholic saints… However they’re very different from our traditional images, because the men are wearing Arab clothes and their faces have Arab features. In addition, there are some words and sentences written in Greek and Arabic on the wall. I can’t understand anything! When I came into The Church of Lebanon for the first time, I really thought I was in a Muslim mosque…

If you want to know The Church of Lebanon, go there on Sunday at 9.30 am or 6 pm. In these times, Melkite Rites happen. Of course you don’t have to pay to come in.

[Fábio Monteiro]

Esperanta flago.Resumo: Priskribado de stranga preĝejo kiu staras en mia kvartalo.

Bandeira do Brasil.Resumo: Descrição de uma estranha igreja que existe no meu bairro.

Resumen: Descripción de una extraña iglesia que hay en mi barrio.


Entry filed under: Practicing English. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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