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Date: November 14, 2002
From:Kfarhazir, LEBANONDays walking:359
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Politics and Religion
249 - Politics and Religion
Village in north Lebanon
Gardens of beautiful Virgin of Mercy church complex in north Lebanon
It is impossible to pass Lebanon without mentioning religion. Because the matter of religious balance is a sensitive political issue, a national census has not been conducted since 1932, before the founding of the modern Lebanese state. However, it is estimated (and generally agreed upon) that about 6% of the population is Muslim (with Shiite Muslims making up the majority followed by Sunnis and Druze) and 4% is Christian (with Maronite Christians making up the majority, followed by Greek Orthodox and various other Christian sects.) The present Lebanese Constitution officially acknowledges 18 religious groups. There is also a sizeable Palestinian population living in refugee camps who do not have Lebanese citizenship, and who are believed to be mainly Sunni Muslim. Since religious affiliation affects the political balance, and since the country is governed by a system that allocates political positions based on religion, it is easy to understand peoples\ deep commitment to their religion, and their desire to "protect their lot". '