National Pact

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The National Pact (Arabic: الميثاق الوطني‎) is an unwritten agreement that laid the foundation of Lebanon as a multiconfessional state, having shaped the country to this day. Following negotiations between the Shia, Sunni, and Maronite leaderships, the National Pact was born in the summer of 1943, allowing Lebanon to be independent.

Key points of the agreement stipulate that:

Lebanese Muslims[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]
Year Percent
Lebanese Christians[9][3][4][5][6][7]
Year Percent

A Christian majority of 51% in the 1932 census – widely considered manipulated in their favor[10] – was the underpinning of a government structure that gave the Christians control of the presidency, command of the armed forces, and a parliamentary majority. However, following a wider trend, the generally poorer Muslim population has increased faster than the richer Christians. Additionally, the Christians were emigrating in large numbers, further eroding their only marginal population edge, and it soon became clear that Christians wielded a disproportionate amount of power. As years passed without a new census, dissatisfaction with the government structure and sectarian rifts increased, eventually sparking the Lebanese Civil War.[11] The Taif Agreement of 1989 changed the ratio of Parliament to 1:1 and reduced the power of the Maronite president.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Binder 1966: 276
  2. ^ "Contemporary distribution of Lebanon's main religious groups". Library of Congress. 1988. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Contemporary distribution of Lebanon's main religious groups". 1998. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b Tom Najem (July 1998). "The Collapse and Reconstruction of Lebanon" (PDF). University of Durham Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. ISSN 1357-7522. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Lebanon: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor - International Religious Freedom Report 2010". U.S. Department of State. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Lebanon: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor - 2012 Report on International Religious Freedom". U.S. Department of State. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  7. ^ a b "The World Factbook". Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  8. ^ "The Lebanese Demographic Reality- 2013" (PDF). Lebanese Information Center.
  9. ^ "Contemporary distribution of Lebanon's main religious groups". Library of Congress. 1988. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  10. ^ Jaulin 2014, p. 251.
  11. ^ Randal 1983: 50
  • Ayubi, Nazih N., "Over-stating the Arab State", London: I.B. Tauris, 1995, pp 190–191.
  • Binder, Leonard. "Politics in Lebanon". New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1966.
  • Jaulin, Thibaut (2014). "Citizenship, Migration, and Confessional Democracy in Lebanon". Middle East Law and Governance. 6: 250–271.
  • Randal, Jonathan. "Going All the Way: Christian Warlords, Israeli Adventurers, and the War in Lebanon". New York: The Viking Press, 1983.

External links[edit]