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Maronites(mâr`ənīts), Lebanese Christian community, in communion with the pope. By emigration they have spread to Cyprus, Palestine, Egypt, South America, and the United States and now number about one million. Their liturgy (said mainly in liturgical Syriac) is of the Antiochene type, with innovations taken from the Latin rite. Their ecclesiastical head, under the pope, is called patriarch of Antioch; he lives in Lebanon. As in other Eastern rites, the parish priests are usually married. The Maronites have been a distinct community since the 7th cent., when they separated in the doctrinal dispute over MonotheletismMonotheletism
[Gr.,=one will], 7th-century opinion condemned as heretical by the Third Council of Constantinople in 680 (see Constantinople, Third Council of).
..... Click the link for more information. ; they returned to communion with the pope in the 12th cent. In the 19th cent., massacres of Maronites by the DruzeDruze
, religious community of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, with important overseas branches in the Americas and Australia. The religious leadership prefers the name Muwahhidun (Unitarians).
..... Click the link for more information. brought French intervention; this gave France a hold in Lebanon and Syria. Besides the Maronites there are two other groups in Syria in communion with the pope—the MelchitesMelchites
, members of a Christian community in the Levant and the Americas, mainly Arabic-speaking and numbering about 250,000. They are in communion with the pope and have a Byzantine rite much like that of Constantinople but in the Arabic language.
..... Click the link for more information. and the Syrian Catholics.
See D. Attwater, The Christian Churches of the East, Vol. I (1947).
adherents of the Maronite Christian Church. They reside for the most part in Lebanon (about 600,000 in 1971), with small groups in Syria, Egypt, North and South America, and Cyprus.
Maronite religious communities arose in the fifth to seventh centuries in northwestern Syria during the schisms in the Eastern Christian Church. Mar Marun is the legendary founder of the Maronite Church. In the 13th to 16th centuries the church recognized the supremacy of the Vatican, having preserved the old Eastern ritual and service in the Syrian (Aramaic) language; the Maronite service is also performed in Arabic. Since 1954 the head of the church has been appointed by the Vatican, with his residence in Lebanon. In accordance with the National Pact of 1943, the president of Lebanon, several ministers, and about one-third of the parliamentary deputies must be Maronites.
REFERENCESSovremennyi Livan. Moscow, 1963.
Dib, P. Histoire de l’eglise maronite. Beirut, 1962.