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Why is Lebanon the only Christian Arab country in the Middle East? Feb 6, 2018 11:50 AM

Fernando Mingo
Travelled several times to Lebanon.
90w ago
Lebanon is not a Christian country only.

It is a country where 18 different confessions coexist in relative peace and harmony.

Nowadays, Lebanon has a majority of Muslims which comprise an approximate 55% of the total population. The rest is made up of Christians of several different denominations including Maronites, Orthodox and Greek Catholics.

What is important to highlight is that Lebanon while being a Republic in the Middle East it recognizes that there is a diversity of religions inside the country which have representation in their politics.

Another amazing fact from Lebanon is that there are Churches beside Mosques and that even Mary the Virgin from Harissa is visited by Muslims.

It is not surprising that there are Christians in Lebanon. After all, many religions from Christiandom emanated from the Levant.

All this being said it is not polite in Lebanon to segregate by religion nor ask somebody else's religion, they are all Lebanese.

Religion does not make a country better or worse. It is their culture and moral values as a society that matters.

James Walker
ex public servant, masseur, security guard; by law an Aboriginal; by custom devil's advocate
169w ago
The Lebanon was specifically created as a refuge for Christians from French controlled Syria. For many years Lebanon was known as the 'Switzerland of the Middle East' and was an oasis of peace in the Arab world.

Then after Black September, Palestinians fled Jordan to the Lebanon...and the PLO and others brought their weapons (up to and including tanks!) and wars with them. The place has been a smoking ruin ever since, and Christians flee a nation created for them.

Elie Farah
62w ago
Lebanon is not and Arabic country.

There is no ethnic in the world called “Christian Arab”, it has never happened. That’s why there is no single Lebanese christian person who accepts the arabism of Lebanon. Never! Arabs came to Lebanon between 1000 and 1450, and they imposed their Islamic culture and the language …etc, but, the Spoken Lebanese language is not a pure arabic, it is a mixture between Syrio-Aramic (50%), Arabic (30%), and Turkish. Thus its not an arabic Language.

But we have the arabic as the official language in our official offices and government, but not the schooling system, not like other Arab countries do.. in schools we have Arabic+English or Arabic+French as the formal study languages.

And since when the language defines the identity of a nation? Are the Brazilian considered Portoguese? Are the Mexicans Spanish? Are the Senegalese French? Are the Australian English? .. No! Ofcourse not, they have different identity.

Arabs have imposed their language in Lebanon by force and destroyed our Syrio-Aramaic Libraries and dictionaries. But we still have some schools who teach it, and once you go thru the course you will see how close is it from the spoken language.

Ill tell something more, have you ever been to Malta or met any maltese ..? Focus on his “Aramaic” spoken language, and again on the Levanese one, and see how close they are.. Because Malta was a Phoenician language too.

Yes Lebanon has Arabs who came in 950 and 1150 invasion, but its never an arabic country. Its a mixed cultures, but the non-arabic culture is the dominant one. Visit Lebanon and you will notice the culture, cloth, traditions, Engagements and weddings, music, fooood, go to the beach and see, go to universities and see people how they dress, and nost important is the cultural architecture…

Most important is the Arak Drink!

Gilberto De Melo Jr.
lived in Brazil, USA, Canada, Japan, China
169w ago
Lebanon would be "a lot more Christian" had not so many left the country because of wars. As a matter of fact, the Lebanese population outside of Lebanon is larger than the one in Lebanon itself. Brazil has between 7 to 11 million Lebanese, or at least their descendants. The numbers are not much lower in Argentina either.

87w ago
Lebanon is a country with almost equal percentages of muslims and christians.

Since the founding of this modern country (Lebanon was part of the ottoman empire before 1918; it didnt exist in its current state prior to 1940s as all Levantine states) the number of muslims and christians were always close.

Its essential to understand that the land area of this tiny country changed, first in the late 1700s an area of the Libanus (currently called western mount lebanon) was referred to as the Provence of Lebanon or Lebanon Mutasarrifate - a semi autonomus region within the Ottoman empire. This region inhabitant were Christians and Druzes and there were fanatic wars between the two every now and then to assume power over the whole Libanus (e.g 1860 civil war).

In THAT region the population of the Christians is said to be the highest (according to a french population survey in 1880) however when modern Lebanon was established in 1920 larger regions were added to the Lebanon Mutasarrifate including most of Lebanon biggest Cities such as Beirut, Saida, Tyre, Tripoli, Baalbeck, the Bekaa valley and southern Lebanon regions were added, all of these regions are of higher Muslim population which when added to the Druze (also Muslims) population of areas in the Mutasarefite increased the number of Muslims substantially. Therefore saying Lebanon is a majorly christian country is not historically correct.

Many zealous lebanese christians and even the government claim that there are 14 million Lebanese people outside Lebanon and they are mostly christians who immigrated in the early 20th century. Although its awesome for me as a Lebanese to be part of huge nation compared to the country size and to its current population (4 millions) this claim is out of common sense because the country population in 1880 by the time first Lebanese started immigrating was close to 400000 only (living in Lebanon Mutasarefite) In 1900 the population went up close to 600000, forward a 100 years in 2000 the population of Lebanese around the world is over 16 million (increased by over 28 folds) !! This makes Lebanon the fastest growing population in History. wedding wears with chapel or court train

This gets cleared up when we assume that people with Lebanese ancestry are not necessarly from Lebanon, they might have had grandparents from the Levant region which is so much bigger than lebanon, but assumed to be from Lebanon.

Contesting which religion have more people have always been a major feature in Lebanese politics. It’s a very sensitive issue precise surverys are forbidden to be executed and this fanatic mentality plays a role in damaging the country socially and economically.

Jakob Persson
lived in Lebanon for a short period
8w ago
That is not true. Lebanon has a considerable Christian population, around 50% for a long time, but the Muslim part is bigger by now. The country's constitution is based on the 50/50 sharing of power between Christians and Muslims. The president is always Christian (Maronite to be exact), the Prime Minister is always Sunni, and the Parliament Speaker, is always Shiite, while both the deputy Parliament Speaker and the deputy Prime Minister, are always Christian Orthodox. Also, Lebanese identification documents include the person's religious affiliation. That seems strange for us who live in secularized nations.

Why Lebanon has a larger Christian population than other states in the ME has to do with its history, colonization and the division of the region by Great Britain and France during the 19th and early 20th century. I do not recall the specifics and the movement of people. But bear in mind that France's influence and ties to Lebanon are still strong. France has continuously offered support and been an ally to Lebanon, long after it gained independence.

Mark L. Levinson
169w ago
Lebanon was supposed to be a homeland for Arab Christians and a gateway to the West, but as Shimon Peres remarked more than a decade ago, "Practically speaking, Lebanon does not exist." Muslim triumphalism was no more willing to leave the Christians in peace than it is to leave the Jews in peace.

Or as a writer elaborated at American Thinker, "Lebanon does not exist so much as it is a collection of Maronites, Druze, Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims, etc. Hizbullah, the avatar of the Shia, is now in ascendance. It is pointless to expect that the 'government of Lebanon' is a force separate from the strongest group, which is currently Hizbullah."

Michael Yonan
98w ago
Lebanon have definitely a large Christian population and after the civil war and according to the Taif Agreement (اتفاقية الطائف‎) which stipulates that the number of parliamentary seats are equally divided among Christians and Muslims. Whereas the Arab identity is not something agreed on even though Lebanon is a member of the Arab league. For instance, you will find single Christians from Lebanon will be registering their profiles as Phoenician or Arameans instead of Arabs on site

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