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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 ?
Referring to Maronites who live in Cyprus, he said that one of the government's priorities is to help them "retain their identity and secure their prosperity".
The Maronites trace their beginnings to Saint Maroun who led a monastic life in the fourth century in Syria.
A JOINT Cypriot and Lebanese Maronite mass took place in the Cathedral of St George in the occupied village of Kormakitis yesterday.
In response, the Maronites had developed a narrative emphasizing their perseverance in "perpetual orthodoxy," despite challenges from infidels of every creed.
Montreal--During March 14-26, Canada's 80,000 Maronite rite Catholics welcomed their spiritual leader on his first visit to this country.
Defence: Khalil Hrawi, Maronite (son of MP & nephew of ex-Pres.
After the 1967 war, the PLO gained political and military power in Lebanon, and it increasingly touched off a resonance of sympathy from Sunni muslims, who had "their own home-grown grievances against the institutionalized domination of their state apparatus by the Maronites.
The Maronites are still the largest Christian group in the country, and their religious head is still regarded as "the patriarch of Lebanon" (the patriarchs of the other two principal Christian groups, the Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic, reside in Damascus), and the total Christian population is still 40 percent of the total, assuming that the total does not include some 400,000 or so Palestinian refugees, nearly all Sunni Muslim.
Summary: The presidential election is a national issue requiring all factions to act, the Maronite Church said in a statement at the conclusion of its synod Thursday.
NNA - Batroun Maronite Perish Bishop, Mounir Khairallah, warded off fears about the presence of Christians whether in Lebanon or in the East, underlining the significance of Christian values and cultural norms, notably national coexistence.
Aleppo, central Syria (SANA) -- he Maronite Conference kicked off on Friday at the Department of Culture in Aleppo on occasion of the 16th centennial of the passing of Saint Maroun, organized by the Maronite Archdiocese of Aleppo.
Pro-Syrian Maronite Christians Suleiman Franjieh, leader of the Marada Brigades, his ally General Michel Aoun, head of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), and former President Emile Lahoud celebrated Saint Maroun's Day in the Maronite church in Aleppo in Syria instead of joining celebrations at home with other Lebanese Christian Maronites (See MER 13/3/2010).