Then, this nitwit friend of mine says: "No. Lebanon was never a Christian country. It was always both Christian and Muslim. The govt.seats in Lebanon are shared by both."
So, I said something like "...maybe so now, but only after the civil war."
To that the nitwit counters with: "No, your information is wrong. I am from the Middle East my dear and I have lived in Lebanon for decades, I should know."
Yes, you should you idiot ... but you don't.
Stupid friends are a real pain even though they can be entertaining at times. Fortunately, for her, she does not know about my blog otherwise I would have emailed this post to the ignoramus and thus lost yet another "friend". Losing "friends" is an art I have perfected beautifully. I consider such losses are nothing but gains.
The following are the first few paragraphs from a paper posted at a great website Phoenica.org that has a wealth of links and references that students of Middle Eastern history will find very informative
Chapter 1: Christian Status prior to 1945
THE BIRTH OF CHRISTIANITY IN LEBANON AND THE ADVENT OF ISLAM
Despite the fact that Islam prevailed 600 years after Christianity, the Middle East is now overwhelmingly populated with Muslims, with the Christian minority comprising about 14 million Christians or 10% of the population.
The Christians, mainly Maronite, have existed in the area, of what is known today as Lebanon since the fourth century, and moved in large numbers to Mount Lebanon(Jabal Loubnan) in the eighth and ninth centuries. The Maronites took their name from John Maron, a learned monk who was Patriach of Antioch in the 8th century. The Muslim (Shiite, Sunni and the Druze sects) community emerged in Mount Lebanon at a later stage.
Marguerite Johnson traces the heritage of the Lebanese Christians directly to Jesus. By the 5th century, Christianity became the dominant religion in the area of Lebanon. After the forceful advent of Islam beginning in the 7th Century, many Christian communities along the coast of Lebanon converted to Islam. However, the mountains of Lebanon remained a Christian haven.
Peter Kolvenbach saw that the history of Lebanon's Christians and the history of Lebanon were so intertwined that without the Christians, and especially its Maronite sect, there would not have been a Lebanon and without Lebanon the destiny of Christians in the Middle East would have been different.
The 1860 civil war between the Maronites and the Druze erupted when Maronite peasants revolted against their landlords who were given land ownership by the Ottoman Empire. The Druze launched a pre-emptive strike against villages in the north with the help of Turkish officials. Engine Akarli mentioned that few Shiites and Sunnites, joined the Druze against the Maronites and the Greek Orthodox Christians (even though the Greek Orthodox had been friendly with the Druze before this incident). Akarli said that the Ottoman troops themselves failed to stop the Druze attacks due to their unwillingness to fight fellow Muslims.
The 1860 civil war left more than 15,000 Christians dead and more than ten thousand homeless. Later, however, the Ottoman foreign ministry imprisoned the Druze leaders involved in the war, and even punished a number of Ottoman officers and officials for having failed to prevent the 1860 civil war.
This was the first Lebanese civil war between Christians and Muslims. It is important to note that the Maronites had been subject to persecution by the Turkish rulers over centuries. However, the 1860 war was the first of its kind between the Lebanese people themselves...............