Religion in Lebanon


The Lebanese population is roughly 60% Muslim and 40% Christian. The largest Muslim community is Shia, followed by Sunni and then Druze. The Druze are one of the Middle East’s religious curiosities: originating from Islam, this branch has diverged so much that it is often considered to be a religion unto itself. According to the Druze, God has become incarnate in various men over the ages, with the latest incarnation being Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the sixth Fatimid caliph, who died in 1021. They believe in reincarnation and that there is a limited number of souls in this world. Each Thursday evening, the Druze gather to pray in discreet locations where no outsiders are admitted, because the rites are shrouded in the greatest secrecy. The largest Christian community is the Maronites, followed by Antiochian Orthodox, Melkite Catholic, Syriac Catholic, Chaldean Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox.


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