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02/25/2019 Lebanon (International Christian Concern) –  As is common in the Middle East, marriage in Lebanon is traditionally governed by the practices of one’s own religious community. Lebanon’s newly appointed Interior Minister has said she is willing to have serious dialogue regarding civil marriage, a comment which has led to mixed feelings throughout the country.

By regulating marriage through religious communities, interfaith marriage is extremely difficult. Additionally, Muslims who become Christian face enormous challenges. As long as they remain legally Muslim, they cannot marry within the church. Approximately 36% of Lebanon’s population are Christian, and according to the constitution the country’s president is always Christian.

As a result, churches in Lebanon can wield some amount of significant influence over the country’s decisions. The churches are split over the concept of introducing civil marriage rather than following the religious system. Lebanon’s highest Sunni authority has absolutely rejected this idea, claiming that it violates Islamic law. Still, many Lebanese are protesting and demanding the right to marry each other within the civil courts rather than through the religious system.

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