The Lebanese National Pact, the basis of faith and politics

This article is also available in: Italiano

Our talk of faith was no coincidence and what to do with the National Pact, on which the country has based its entire modern history. Fundamental piece to understand the extraordinary nature of the revolution of these days.

A national pact based on faith

These days our focus on Lebanon’s faiths has not been accidental, but an attempt to make me better understand the logic behind the country’s politics. The many confessions, in fact, have always been considered as real groups, causing an incredible fragmentation for the country. Precisely to put an end to this internal disintegration, in 1943 the “National Pact” was signed which, integrated with the constitution of 1926, gave birth to modern Lebanon.

This pact was signed following the 1932 census, in which Christians were the clear majority of the country, obtaining significant advantages in the agreement. In fact, they obtained: the presidency of the republic, the chief of defense staff and a percentage of 6: 5 in the parliament, allowing him a fixed majority. The demographics of the country, however, will radically change shortly thereafter, making Christians a wealthy elite increasingly marginalized but with much of the power in their hands.

From war to revolution

Many Christians, in fact, emigrated from Lebanon in search of fortune, leaving a void that will be filled by the countless Palestinian refugees, with a Muslim majority. This, combined with other internal factors, will lead to the outbreak of the civil war in 1975, which lasted 15 years. In 1990, however, under Syrian military pressure, the litigants will sign the Ta’if agreements, in which the power of the president was reduced in favor of the prime minister and the percentage passed to 5: 5, restoring a partial balance.


Of course we have summarized beyond belief, but understanding how fractured this country is internally also makes us understand the extraordinary nature of this revolution. People take to the streets to protest together, regardless of any differences up to now. In addition to major tax cuts, it is asked that there are no more divisions within the Lebanese people and that they can definitively forget a past in which faith has been used too many times to break ties rather than unite them. As external observers, we like to think that, precisely by virtue of the tragedies, the spirit of this people is destined to live in peace, truly united under a single flag as never before.

Tomorrow we will have the honor of bringing you our interview with Lorenzo Forlani, Italian journalist correspondent from Beirut for various publications including Huffington Post, Esquire and Agi.

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