Pope Benedict urged Middle Eastern Christians on Sunday to work for peace and against "the grim trail of death and destruction" in the world, in a sermon delivered in Lebanon as civil war raged in neighboring Syria. Benedict was speaking at an open-air Mass on Beirut’s Mediterranean seafront attended by 350,000 worshipers, according to the organizers’ estimate, and leaders of Lebanon’s Christian and Muslim communities including from Hezbollah. Peace between warring factions and among the many religious groups in the Middle East has been a central theme of his visit to Lebanon, along with his call to Christians not to leave the region despite war and growing pressure from radical Islamists. [Link]