Pope Benedict XVI has celebrated an open air Mass for tens of thousands of pilgrims from across the Middle East in the major public event of his three-day visit to Lebanon to press for peace and reconciliation between Christians and Muslims.
Police set up roadblocks and patroled streets in downtown Beirut as Benedict arrived in his bullet-proof popemobile at the Mass, which was held at the Beirut waterfront.
During his visit, Benedict has been appealing for tolerance and religious freedom.
The pope's visit comes amid escalating sectarian violence in the region, which has been stirred by the 18-month bloody conflict in Syria.
Based on rerorting by AP and AFP