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Union of Lebanon
Lubnaan (لبنان)
State flag of Lebanon
Official Language Lebanese dialect of Arabic, Syriac
Other Languages Syrian Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, Judæo-Arabic, Armenian, French, Greek, Italian (Lombard), Judajca, Sabir (Mediterranean Lingua Franca), Turkish
Largest Religions Druze, Eastern Orthodox Church (Antioch Patriarchate), Maronite Catholic Church, Shia Islam, Sunni Islam
Other religions Assyrian Church of the East, Catholicism (Armenian and Latin Rites), Judaism, Oriental Orthodox Church (Armenian Apostolic Church, Syriac Orthodox)
Capital Baakleen (Administrative and executive capital), Deir al-Qamar (Legislative and Judicial capital)
Largest City Beirut
President TBD
Prime Minister TBD
Population 7,370,910
Government Parliamentary democracy and federal republic
Independence 1923 (From the Ottoman Empire)
Currency Dirham/Drachma (₯); 1 Dirham=100 fils (فلس)
Organizations League of Mediterranean and Pontic Peoples, Community of Hellenophone States

Long dominated by the members of the Druze faith, Lebanon today is ruled by a highly secular government which seeks to protect all ethnic and religious groups within its territory.

Lebanon and Judea formed what historians call the Levantine Alliance and held out against the Ottoman Empire for many years before being conquered.

Along with much of the rest of the Middle East, Lebanon regained its independence in the 1920's due to the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. Lebanon's government structure has worked remarkably well at uniting the country's diverse groups into one unified multicultural nation. In the early days of the modern Lebanese Union, many people expected the country to devolve into civil war (like *here*); Lebanon's peaceful history and flourishing economy have proven them wrong, however. While much of the Middle East makes money off of historical, archeological, and religious tourism, as well as oil and/or agriculture depending on area, Lebanon's open, cosmopolitan blend of cultures has made it into the "party country" of the Eastern Mediterranean - full of beaches, nightlife, casinos, and beautiful people. It is also known as a tax haven and international banking center where the world's wealthy and sneaky keep their secret bank accounts.


Religion is a very important topic when understanding Lebanese history and politics. The country has a careful balance of similar numbers of Druze (the founders of the state), Christians, and Muslims. Formerly, the Druze merely allowed people of other religions to live on what they perceived solely their land, and the Ottomans used divide-and-rule tactics to govern the coastal Levant by pitting all religious denominations against each other, which certainly didn't help ease tensions between the Druze, Maronites, and Sunnis. However, like with the Kurds, the Young Turks movement and Lebanese independence movement during the breakup of the Ottoman Empire helped bring about a degree of cohesion amongst the coastal Arabs, be they Christians, Muslims, Jews, or Druze. Post-independence, as the state looked to distance itself from the theocratic monarchy of Turkey, the Lebanese Republic began implementing political and economic reforms based on the French model, which included the prevention of religious groups influencing public policy. This has seen varying degrees of success, with the Druze most open to and in favor of complete secularization, and the Sunnis most opposed. The Maronite patriarchate still acts like a state-within-a-state and the Sunnis still revere the caliph in Gordion as their religious sovereign, but overall Lebanon is one of very few of the countries of the Middle East to actually enshrine the right to change religions in their constitution and is the most committed to the very Western notion of laïcité, something its pan-Arabist neighbor Syria is not so keen on doing. There is a very popular Druze saying that started amongst Druze freedom fighters in Syria that goes "Religion is for God, the fatherland is for all."

Lebanon is perhaps the only region in the entire Ottoman Empire where converts from Islam to Christianity were permitted. The most prominent example was the Shihab ruling dynasty that has always been a power player in Lebanese politics. The dynasty (allegedly) originated in the Hijaaz region but moved during the rise of the Islamic state to the Levant after its capture from the Roman Empire in the 600's. The clan is quite large, but more branches converted to Maronite Catholicism in the early 1700's than stayed Sunni Muslim or became other religions such as Orthodox Christianity.


(Population: 7,370,910)

  • Druze (26.29%): 1,938,550
  • Christian (40%): 2,948,364
    • Catholic (44.25%): 1,304,650
      • Maronite (86.74%): 1,131,652
      • Latin (10.55%): 137,650
        • 5,176 are ethnic Armenians
      • Armenian (2.71%): 17,674
    • Eastern Orthodox (38%): 1,120,378
    • Oriental Orthodox (12.5%): 368,546
      • Syriac Orthodox (70.28%): 259,024
      • Armenian Orthodox (25.72%): 94,780
      • Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox (4%): 14,742
    • Assyrian Church of the East (5.25%):
  • Muslim (32.54%): 2,398,494
    • Shia (64%): 1,535,036
      • Twelver Jafari Shia (80.79%): 1,240,200
      • Alawites (13.83%): 212,282
      • Ismaili/Sevener Shia (5.38%): 82,554
    • Shafi’i and Hanafi Sunni (36%): 863,458
  • Jewish (.82%): 60,440
  • Other (.34%): 25,060
    • Zoroastrians: 7,692
    • Yezidis, Yarsanis, Mandaeans, Manicheans: 10,674
    • Buddhists, Hindus, Xinto, etc: 6,626
    • Mormons: 68

here — Lebanon and parts of Syria




North: Syria.
West: Mediterranean Sea.
South: Judea.
East: Syria.