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In Muslim-Christian marriages, a spouse might choose to convert to another religion mostly for reasons of inheritance. Some Muslim faiths, for instance, deprive the wife of her right to inherit her husband, which might push her to adopt a new faith to safeguard her right to heritage.

Despite the importance of inter-religious marriages in building a new generation far from sectarianism, there has not been any public interest or research as to the number of mixed marriages by sect and region. As usual, the exact number remains subject to estimations, which put it at around 500 000 marriages between Muslims of different sects, between Christians of different sects, or marriages between Muslims and Christians.

Information International has conducted in-depth research into this matter based on the 2011 voter lists and has concluded that the registered mixed marriages amount to 173 883 in Lebanon. Although the few shortcomings that accompanied the research failed to strip its scientific value, it is imperative to point them out:

  • The study excluded the marriages of females under 21 years of age
  • The study excluded the marriages where the relevant female spouse passed away
  • The study excluded the few marriages where the sect of the wife was not mentioned

Our research will stretch over 7 parts, each of them dedicated to cover mixed marriages in one of the 6 Lebanese Mohafazas while the 7th will include all Lebanon and touch on the final findings and conclusions.

According to the following Table 1, there were 57 295 mixed marriages in the Mount Lebanon Mohafaza.

The highest mixed marriage rates were registered in the Qada’a of Matn and the lowest in Jbeil.

By sect, 3773 marriages occurred between two different Muslim sects, 47 417 between two different Christian sects and 2589 between Muslims and Christians.

The distribution of inter-religious marriages by Qada’a was as follows:

  • Matn: 19 686 marriages
  • Chouf: 10 068
  • Baabda: 8625
  • Kessrouan: 7479
  • Aley: 7209
  • Jbeil: 4204

These marriages were distributed by sect as follows:

  • Matn: 267 unions between people of two different Muslim sects, 17 753 between people of two different Christian sects and 900 between Muslims and Christians (Table 2)
  • Chouf: 1858 unions between people of two different Muslim sects, 6874 between people of two different Christian sects and 610 between Muslims and Christians (Table 3)
  • Baabda: 721 unions between people of two different Muslim sects, 7054 between people of two different Christian sects and 397 between Muslims and Christians (Table 4)
  • Kessrouan: 48 unions between people of two different Muslim sects, 6656 between people of two different Christian sects and 223 between Muslims and Christians (Table 5)
  • Aley: 396 unions between people of two different Muslim sects, 5874 between people of two different Christian sects and 484 between Muslims and Christians (Table 6)
  • Jbeil: 486 unions between people of two different Muslim sects, 3037 between people of two different Christian sects and 241 between Muslims and Christians (Table 7)

Mixed marriages registered in Mount Lebanon

Table 1

Sect of the husband

Maronite

Greek Orthodox

Greek Catholic

Armenian Orthodox

Armenian Catholic

Evangelical

Syrian Orthodox

Syrian Catholic

Latin

Christian diversity

Sunni

Shia’a

Druze

Alawi

Not specified

Others

Total

Sect of the wife

Maronite

 

5510

5605

475

291

248

182

258

545

118

105

94

202

7

 

 

13640

Greek Orthodox

9621

 

1705

306

91

176

89

71

96

36

85

51

121

3

 

1

12452

Greek Catholic

9511

1941

 

183

106

123

62

71

176

43

88

62

111

3

 

 

12480

Armenian Orthodox

790

178

169

 

558

267

32

32

45

15

17

12

13

1

 

 

2129

Armenian Catholic

511

98

117

494

 

32

15

28

66

5

2

2

5

 

 

 

1375

Evangelical

461

186

138

47

13

 

5

5

3

2

13

15

34

 

 

1

923

Syrian Orthodox

649

149

117

58

31

14

 

43

10

28

4

2

8

 

 

1

1114

Syrian Catholic

643

106

105

47

32

14

31

 

7

17

4

3

4

3

 

 

1016

Latin

864

146

195

61

46

11

7

9

 

4

11

9

38

 

 

1

1402

Christian diversity

649

180

124

212

61

684

43

24

15

23

15

14

35

 

 

1

2080

Sunni

553

101

78

14

9

9

6

3

5

7

 

1483

312

13

 

 

2593

Shia’a

336

68

57

6

 

3

1

1

6

2

1731

 

172

12

 

 

2395

Druze

72

16

15

1

 

1

1

1

 

 

2

10

 

 

1

1

121

Alawi

13

6

1

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

28

7

3

 

 

 

59

Not specified

2042

282

245

92

18

34

9

14

24

6

181

232

284

 

3

2

3468

Others

28

3

3

1

 

1

 

 

 

 

4

4

4

 

 

 

48

Total

26743

8970

8674

1997

1257

1617

483

560

998

306

2290

2000

1346

42

4

8

57295

Source: Lebanon’s Civil Registration Records

Mixed marriages registered in Matn

Table 2

Sect of the husband

Maronite

Greek Orthodox

Greek Catholic

Armenian Orthodox

Armenian Catholic

Evangelical

Syrian Orthodox

Syrian Catholic

Latin

Christian diversity

Sunni

Shia’a

Druze

Alawi

Not specified

Others

Total

Sect of the wife

Maronite

 

2633

2124

358

202

68

132

116

210

76

37

35

20

6

 

 

6017

Greek Orthodox

2533

 

764

249

67

44

69

41

61

21

17

15

25

3

 

1

3910

Greek Catholic

2240

875

 

132

75

44

41

33

53

25

14

13

2

1

 

 

3548

Armenian Orthodox

206

105

88

 

480

204

28

26

40

14

6

4

2

 

 

 

1203

Armenian Catholic

146

55

49

380

 

31

11

14

64

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

754

Evangelical

110

58

35

35

11

 

4

4

3

1

 

1

3

 

 

 

265

Syrian Orthodox

182

83

48

47

26

12

 

20

8

17

2

1

 

 

 

 

446

Syrian Catholic

145

45

42

42

27

7

12

 

4

6

3

3

1

 

 

 

337

Latin

259

66

72

50

26

5

5

3

 

2

 

2

1

 

 

1

492

Christian diversity

199

79

58

181

51

615

38

18

12

12

1

2

2

 

 

1

1269

Sunni

127

39

27

11

4

5

5

1

4

1

 

110

8

9

 

 

351

Shia’a

77

35

19

6

 

1

1

1

4

1

100

 

7

9

 

 

261

Druze

24

5

4

 

 

 

1

1

 

 

 

3

 

 

1

 

39

Alawi

3

3

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

19

1

1

 

 

 

28

Not specified

402

132

69

74

16

12

1

5

5

3

6

15

5

 

3

1

749

Others

12

2

1

1

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17

Total

6665

4215

3400

1566

986

1049

348

283

468

183

205

205

77

28

4

4

19686

Source: Lebanon’s Civil Registration Records

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Mixed marriages registered in Chouf

Table 3

Sect of the husband

Maronite

Greek Orthodox

Greek Catholic

Armenian Orthodox

Armenian Catholic

Evangelical

Syrian Orthodox

Syrian Catholic

Latin

Christian diversity

Sunni

Shia’a

Druze

Total

Sect of the wife

Maronite

 

77

1752

3

3

72

1

5

8

1

36

4

72

2034

Greek Orthodox

1489

 

438

2

1

37

2

1

1

1

46

3

38

2059

Greek Catholic

1970

39

 

7

4

26

1

 

3

 

57

2

49

2158

Armenian Orthodox

110

5

33

 

4

3

 

 

 

 

6

1