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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 December 2005, 07:40 GMT
Lebanese Christians: Elias
Less than 50 years ago, this area was almost completely Catholic and the area where I lived was safe.

Name: Elias
Age: 33
Lives: Rumaish, S Lebanon
Works: Farmer/businessman
Now, what used to be a Christian area is silent as the people have gone.

I am determined to still live here. I do not want to go to Beirut, I want to live here.

I have been trying to keep our property for the family. It has belonged to us for more than 1,000 years.

I really do not want to have to sell it, but no-one wants to buy the produce from our land as we are Christians and the Muslim community is so strong.

Many Christians were forced to sell their land and the population has shrunk. There are fewer than 4,000 Christians in this area.

I think that, probably after around 10 or 15 years there will be no more Christians in Lebanon.

We do not really have much contact with the Muslim community in our area. They live in their own houses and we do not see them much.

I feel sometimes that they make comments I do not like about my religion.

Total population: 4m
Estimated Christians: 1.35m-1,6m
% Christian: 34-41%
Main churches: Maronite, Greek Orthodox
Issues: Political change
I would be nervous if someone came to the area, they would say it is "haram" or forbidden to eat or buy anything from any of our houses and it could spark off a war.

It is very hard to explain the mentality of people here to outsiders.

It is not much but it is important for me to keep this area for us. Those around us are of a different religion to the one that I believe in.

I hope, after I am gone, that my son will take over my role. But nothing is certain.

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