Middle East

Christian Maronite Tensions Rise Ahead of Elections

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Lebanon has been considered unique in the Arab world ever since it was created by the French as a largely Christian enclave surrounded by mostly Muslim states. But rather than band together to protect their status, Lebanese Christians have engaged in constant internal turf wars.

The tension between the Muslim and Christian worlds takes on a very personal character when it comes to Lebanon. It's a Muslim majority country — but with a large Christian population too. And the constitution says the president should always be a Maronite Christian. That rule was meant to share the power between religious groups.

But as a scheduled presidential election approaches, it's actually led to tension within a religious group. Christians can't agree on who to support. Fighting among Christian factions has shaped much of Lebanon's history.



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