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Population: Shia Muslim 41%, Sunni Muslim 27%, Maronite Christian 16%, Druze 7%, Greek Orthodox 5% and Catholic 3% (US State Department estimates)

Islam and the state: Lebanon has a system of government that reflects the the religious make up of the country. The president of Lebanon is always be a Maronite, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, the speaker of the parliament a Shia, and the commander of the army a Maronite.

Militant Islam: Lebanon courts the wrath of the US by refusing to clamp down on or disarm Hezbollah. Washington views the organisation as a terrorist group. Beirut argues that Hezbollah is a legitimate resistance movement and a major political organisation.


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