Complex, besieged and dysfunctional on many levels (it took 29 months to break a deadlock and pick a president), Lebanon nonetheless is an open society where freedoms of the press, assembly, expression, and religion are protected by law. Since the end of its 15-year civil war in 1990, Christians and Muslims have shared representation in the government. But underneath the relatively stable politics, tensions abound – related to geographic origin, clan identity and religious affiliation. The turmoil in neighbouring Syria exacerbates tensions in Lebanon, which is enduring the burden of an estimated 1 million Syrian refugees. Additionally, an estimated 14,000 Christians from Iraq have sought refuge in Lebanon.

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Lebanese stockpiling weapons against IS

The Associated Press (AP) reports that some Lebanese Christians are stockpiling weapons and setting up self-defence units to protect themselves from the Islamic State. This report came the day before IS militants beheaded Lebanese soldier Abbas Medlej who had been taken hostage by the group’s militants in August. Photos of […]

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Lebanon on the brink

The war in Syria threatens to spill over into Lebanon, where the Damascus regime and the rebels both have supporters. A Lebanese BBC journalist’s film ‘Lebanon on the Brink‘ shows the latent sectarian enmity between Sunni and Alawite Shia in Tripoli, northern Lebanon.

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