Orthodox Christianity in Lebanon

Lebanese Greek Orthodox Christians
اللبنانيين المسيحيين الروم الأرثوذكس
Total population
Lebanese Arabic
Christianity (Greek Orthodox)
Related ethnic groups
Other Lebanese & Levantine Arabs  • Ghassanids Arabs  • Phoenicians  • Byzantine Greeks
An estimate of the area distribution of Lebanon's main religious groups
Lebanon religious groups distribution

Orthodox Christianity in Lebanon refers to adherents of the Eastern Orthodox Church in Lebanon, which is the second largest Christian denomination in the country after the Maronites. The Lebanese Greek Orthodox Christians are believed to constitute about 8% of the total population of Lebanon.[2][4] Most of the Greek Orthodox Christians live in the capital city of Beirut, the Southeast (Nabatieh/Beqaa) and North, near Tripoli. Under the terms of an agreement known as the National Pact between the various political and religious leaders of Lebanon, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament and the Deputy Prime Minister in Lebanon are obligated to be Greek Orthodox Christians.[5] Within the Lebanese context, especially political, the group is seen as an ethnoreligious group.[6][7]


The Greek Orthodox adhere to the Orthodox Eastern Church, which is composed of several autocephalous jurisdictions united by common doctrine and by their use of the Byzantine rite. They are the second largest Christian denomination within Christianity in Lebanon. Historically, these churches grew out of the four Eastern Patriarchates (Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople), which came to oppose the views and claims of the Popes of Rome. The final split between Rome and the Eastern Church took place in 1054. From that time, with the exception of a brief period of reunion in the fifteenth century, the Eastern Church has continued to reject the claim of the Roman patriarchate to universal supremacy and has rejected the concept of papal infallibility. Doctrinally, the main point at issue between the Eastern and Western Churches is that of the procession of the Holy Spirit. There are also divergences in ritual and discipline.

The Greek Orthodox include many free-holders, and the community is less dominated by large landowners than other Christian denominations. In present-day Lebanon, the Greek Orthodox Christians have become increasingly urbanized, and form a major part of the commercial and professional class of Beirut and other cities. Many are found in the Southeast (Nabatieh/Beqaa) and North, near Tripoli. They are highly educated and well-versed in finance. The Greek Orthodox church has become known in the past for its pan-Arab orientation, possibly because it exists in various parts of the Arab world. The Greek Orthodox church has often served as a bridge between Lebanese Christians and the Arab countries.

Lebanese Greek Orthodox Christians have a long and continuous association with Greek Orthodox Churches in European countries like Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania. The church exists in many parts of the Arab world and Greek Orthodox Christians have often been noted for pan-Arab or pan-Syrian leanings; historically, it has had less dealings with Western countries than the Maronite Church. The Lebanese Greek Orthodox Christians are believed to constitute about 8% of the total population of Lebanon,[2][3] including the Palestinian Greek Orthodox community, many of whom have been given Lebanese citizenship.

The political parties, supported by the community are the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, the Lebanese Communist Party, the Free Patriotic Movement, the Marada Movement, the Lebanese Forces, the Kataeb, the Democratic Left Movement and the Future Movement.

Cities, towns and villages with an Eastern Orthodox Christian majority or large minority in Lebanon

In present-day Lebanon, the Greek Orthodox Christians are found in Beirut, the Southeast (Nabatieh/Beqaa) and North, near Tripoli, Koura and also in Akkar, Batroun, Matn, Aley, Zahlé, Miniyeh-Danniyeh, Hasbaya, Baabda, Marjeyoun, Tripoli, Rashaya, Jbeil and Zgharta.

Notable Greek Orthodox figures in Lebanon


See also


  1. ^ "Minority Rights Group International - working to secure the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples". 
  2. ^ a b c Lebanon – International Religious Freedom Report 2010 U.S. Department of State. Retrieved on 14 February 2010.
  3. ^ a b Lebanon - July-December, 2010 International Religious Freedom Report U.S. Department of State. Retrieved on 1 June 2012.
  4. ^ Lebanon - July-December, 2010 International Religious Freedom Report U.S. Department of State. Retrieved on 01 June 2012.
  5. ^ Harb, Imad (March 2006). "Lebanon's Confessionalism: Problems and Prospects". USIPeace Briefing. United States Institute of Peace. Archived from the original on 9 July 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2009. 
  6. ^ David Levinson (1 January 1998). Ethnic Groups Worldwide: A Ready Reference Handbook. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 249. ISBN . Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Michael Slackman (9 November 2006). "Christians Struggle to Preserve a Balance of Power". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
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