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Related to Maronites: Melkites, Hashemites


(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
or Monothelitism
[Gr.,=one will], 7th-century opinion condemned as heretical by the Third Council of Constantinople in 680 (see Constantinople, Third Council of).
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; they returned to communion with the pope in the 12th cent. In the 19th cent., massacres of Maronites by the DruzeDruze
or Druse
, 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).
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 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
or Melkites
, 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.
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 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.


Sovremennyi Livan. Moscow, 1963.
Dib, P. Histoire de l’eglise maronite. Beirut, 1962.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to the Cyprus News Agency, which quoted Turkish Cypriot media, Akinci met with representatives of Maronites hailing from Ayia Marina and told them efforts towards the decision taken in July allowing them to return to their homes would continue.
Summary: Former Beirut Bar Association head Antoine Klimos won an uncontested election for the presidency of the Maronite League over the weekend.
The Maronites, the followers of the Syriac Maronite Church, remain one of the principal ethno-religious groups in Lebanon.
LOUIS -- When Deacon Wissam Akiki was ordained as a Maronite Catholic priest Thursday night in St.
Summary: Syria: Maronite patriarch Beshara Rai will visit Damascus on Sunday to attend the enthronement of .
In the statement issued after their meeting Wednesday, the Maronite Bishops threw their weight behind Rai, whose remarks on Syria and Hizbullah's arms have touched off a nationwide controversy in Lebanon and jolted the Christian heartland.
Newly elected head of Lebanon's influential Maronite Church, Bishop Beshara al-Rai, stressed the need for Lebanese unity and emphasized the importance of Lebanese Christians in preserving the role of Christians throughout the Middle East, the influential Beirut daily AN NAHAR reported on Saturday.
During an interview with journalist, Patriarch al-Rahi said that the Maronite Patriarchy invited the Syrian leadership to participate in the inauguration ceremony which will take place on March 25th, similar to other countries that have Maronite congregations.
The turning point in Americans' attitude came with the Druzes' massacres of Maronites in Syria in 1860.
The Maronites have never been politically united throughout Lebanon's modern history.
President Christofias said that the solution must be to the benefit of all Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Amernians and Latins.
Maronites first arrived in Australia in the 1800s and since then have consolidated their presence through institutional structures including churches, schools, childcares and aged care facilities.