- Pathfinder

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

Andrew Langford

Indigenous Christians were Maronites who developed Lebanon in terms of its culture, economy, and politics. Early Lebanese Christians practiced extreme aestheticism. The first Antioch Patriarch came from Lebanon.
Mount Lebanon served as a natural impregnable refuge for ethnic and cultural minorities, especially Maronites and other Eastern Christian minorities. It served as an escape from the Roman Empire and from Imperialism in ancient times. Maronites defended Christianity against Islam in Lebanon. Ethnic minorities and Christian minorities who took refuge in Lebanon resisted Islam.
The Lebanese national identity consists of merchants, monks, and poets. Lebanese Christians have a sensitivity to and a longing for freedom. The Lebanese have been freedom-starved. There has been a creative healthy pluralism in Lebanon under Maronite influence. There has been peaceful coexistence between various Lebanese sects under Maronite influence.
Charles Malik was a leading Lebanese statesman and a Lebanese diplomat to the United States who was Christian and who identified with the Maronites. He was influential in the formation of the United Nations and the drafting and passage of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. He often spoke out against the USSR and Marxism in the United Nations and throughout his life as a Lebanese statesman.