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Maronite Church/Population

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Part of the series Maronite Church
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History
Organization
Population
Maronite Church (Video)


The exact worldwide Maronite population is not known, although it is at least 3 million according to CNEWA (Catholic Near East Welfare Association). It is estimated that 1,300,000 to 1,500,000 remain in Lebanon where they constitute up to 30% of the population. According to a Lebanese agreement celebrated among the various religious leaders, the president must be a Maronite. Syrian Maronites total 40,000 and they follow the archdioceses of Aleppo and Damascus and the Diocese of Latakia. There is also a Maronite community in Cyprus which speaks Cypriot Maronite Arabic. They are a recognized religious minority on the island and the community elects a representative to sit in the house of representatives (parliament) to voice their interests. They are descended of those Maronites who accompanied the crusaders, although more recent Lebanese immigrants are often included as part of the community. A noticeable Maronite community exists in northern Israel.

The two residing eparchies in the United States have issued their own "Maronite Census", designed to estimate how many Maronites reside in the United States. Many Maronites have been assimilated into Western Catholicism as there were no Maronite parishes or priests available. The "Maronite Census" was designed to locate these Maronites. There is also an eparchy in São Paulo, Brazil.

Modern Maronites often adopt French or other Western European given names (with biblical origins) for their children like Michel, Marc, Marie, Georges, Carole, Charles, Chris, Antoine and Pierre.

Given names of Arabic origins identical with those of their Muslim neighbors are also common, such as Khalil, Samir, Salim, Jameel, Hisham, or Toufic. Other common names are strictly Christian and are Aramaic, or Arabic, forms of biblical, Hebrew, or Greek Christian names, such as Antun (Anthony or Antonios), Butros (Peter), Boulos (Paul), Rami, Semaan or Shamaoun (Simon), Jergyes (George), Elie (Ilyas or Elias), Iskander (Alexander) and Beshara (literally Good News in reference to the Gospel). Other common names are Sarkis (Sergius) and Bakhos (Bacchus), while others are common both among Christians and Muslims, such as Yousseff (Joseph) or Ibrahim (Abraham).

Some Maronite Christians are named in honour of Maronite saints, including the Aramaic names Maroun (after their patron saint, Maron), Nimtullah, Charbel and Rafqa.

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