- Pathfinder

Reply To: In what ways did indigenous Christians shape Lebanon’s history? What did you find most interesting about these communities?

Audra Jones

Native Lebanese Christians were and are a key part of Lebanon’s history. They are intertwined with its governments, culture, people, and to the nation’s development, domestically and within the international community. From being influenced during biblical times to having its modern name derived from ancient Hebrew, Lebanon would not be a nation without its past Christian citizens. The early Lebanese Christian Maronite groups built Lebanese relations with Europe and precipitated the evolution of Lebanese education in past centuries. However, they forfeited their influence in the later history of Lebanon which led to their persecution and the steady decline of Lebanon’s government, which was greatly influenced by Christians as far back as the Old Testament figure of King Solomon. While Maronites & other Lebanese Christian groups, like the Orthodox and Catholic, attempted to retrieve their lost power, there was little, ultimate, victory for their efforts. Lebanon began on a dangerous path that has resulted in the nation becoming wrecked with terrorism, violence, and economic decline. What I found most interesting about the influence of these native Christian communities is that, in many ways, Lebanese Christians have historically secured Lebanon’s credibility in the world and increased prosperity. In other ways, they lost their ability to lead Lebanon into a peaceful existence and are now outliers in and persecuted by Lebanon. It is the fact that these people built Lebanon and are now outcasts of the nation is surprising and sad.