It’s easy to fall into the trap of answering “Religion of course”, but that’s both lazy and not entirely correct. The mix of ethnicity in Lebanon goes beyond a mere Christian or Muslim divide. There are disagreements between the Druze and other branches of the Shia Muslim faith. The influx of refugees from their neighbours has exasperated inter-Islamic differences, with the numbers of Sunni Muslims increasing. Throw in the Maronite and Orthodox Christians and you’ll start to see a very complicated picture.
Religion is an important factor though. In Lebanon it defines everything about who and what you are. Yet there are an increasing number of Lebanese turning their backs on organised religion. In such a polarised society with deep political and religious links, this can have very real consequences as this BBC report outlines.
|Lebanon's atheists on losing their religion|