Religious group in Levant

Maronites (Under CC License)

The Maronites are an Arabic-speaking Christian group who adhere to the Syriac Maronite Church with the largest population around Mount Lebanon in Lebanon. The Maronite Church is an Eastern Catholic sui iuris particular church in full communion with the Pope and the Catholic Church, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, one of more than a dozen individual churches in full communion with the Holy See. They derive their name from the Syriac Christian saint Maron, whose followers migrated to the area of Mount Lebanon from their previous location of residence around the area of Antioch, establishing the nucleus of the Syriac Maronite Church. Some Maronites argue that they are of Mardaite ancestry, but most historians reject such claims. Maronites were able to maintain an independent status in Mount Lebanon and its coastline after the Muslim conquest of the Levant, keeping their Christian religion, and even the distinctive Aramaic language as late as the 19th century.

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