Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai is at the center of controversy in Lebanon after reiterating his call for the state to crack down on unauthorized weapons in the country, an apparent critique of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. Since a massive explosion destroyed the Port of Beirut and killed more than 150 in the beginning of August, the Christian leader has been more outspoken. He wants elections, and he has critiqued the “political class” that is entrenched in power. Lebanon is facing a major “danger,” he said over the weekend. This comes as the country chooses a new prime minister and government and as French President Emmanuel Macron is again scheduled to visit.Rai has called for the state to confine all weapons under its control and that of the army, Abu Dhabi-based Al Ain News online reported. This comes after armed clashes with Hezbollah supporters last week, as well as concerns that the terrorist group is storing 150,000 rockets and munitions throughout the country.In response, pro-Hezbollah voices have slammed the Maronite leader, claiming he is supporting “peace” and is linked to Israel. This is an attempt to link him to the UAE-Israel deal and make it appear as if he supports “normalization.”In fact, the stance of those around Rai is that Lebanon should not be part of regional conflicts; it is Hezbollah that has hijacked Lebanon and forced it to be part of the “resistance” against Israel.Unsurprisingly, the increased tension and lack of government leadership has put religious leaders at the forefront. The Maronites are the traditional Christian leaders of Lebanon. But they also found themselves at the forefront during the civil war in the 1970s and ’80s, and many of their leaders have been assassinated. In addition, the president of Lebanon is always a Christian, and the current president, Michel Aoun, is also pro-Hezbollah.This potentially puts the patriarch in the crosshairs of conflict. Fifteen years ago, Hezbollah members plotted and carried out the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafic Hariri. A UN investigation accused four Hezbollah members and found one guilty last month.Rai’s criticism of illegal weapons caches in recent weeks is controversial and could put him on a collision course with Hezbollah. He has been treading carefully in the wording of his sermons and speeches in this respect.But Lebanon is often a powder keg. In addition, many regional countries want to inflame tensions in the small country sandwiched between Syria and Israel.