Christian Communities in the Middle East
Jerusalem University College
Dr. Petra Heldt
November 3, 2003
"Liberation Movements in the Middle East"

I.   There are different kinds of liberation movements
A.   Christians fight for their own property and right to existence vs. Muslim occupation
1.   Timeframe of Liberation Movement
a.   Historical
b.   Contemporary
2.   Famous Movements
a.   Armenian Liberation Movement -
b.   Maronites (Lebanon) - have fought for their own state (to regain their own state) from Muslim Occupation
i.   Origins from St. Maron - 4th cent - living in the mountainous region of Lebanon
ii.   Today they are an independent church today
a.   They were originally an orthodox church
b.   They sided with Catholicism during the crusades
c.   Today they are the only church that is both Catholic and Orthodox
iii.   Ethnic Groups - together they make up the Phoenicians
a.   Canaanites
b.   Arameans (Aramaic) - The most predominate
c.   Amhonites (non-Semitic)
iv.   History
a.   It had a very large Greco-Roman (Hellenistic) influenced
b.   7th century had a large Christian group
c.   634 BC - The beginning of Muslim influence -
d.   Three categories of people
1.   Acceptance - most people accepted Islam because of the obvious advantages (i.e. no taxes)
2.   Dhimmi - "second class" citizens but remained Christian
3.   Resistance - Those who refused to accept Islam nor be a second class citizen
e.   Lebanon become the central place where Christians who refused to accept Islam came to live because it was very secure
1.   676-685 - 1st Mahornite State
a.   The Mahornite state was a smashing success and was actually taking land from the Muslims (down into Tyre and Sidon)
b.   They were not defeated until Constantinople made a pack with the Muslims (which they of course received power and money) to destroy the Mahornites
c.   This was possible by the Constantinople Conquest because the Mahornites trusted their "Christian brothers & sisters" - not knowing they had been bought the Muslims
2.   685-758 - 2nd Mahornite State
a.   Defined only the by the central (very confined) mountainous area of Lebanon
b.   Abassides (Muslim)
i.   They were finally defeated by constant attacking and never let them live in peace
ii.   They uprooted Arab tribes and replanted them near the Mahorinte State
3.   758-1305 - 3rd Mahornite State
a.   The crusades protected the Mahorintes
b.   This is also when the Mahorintes made a contract with the Pope (especially given the betrayal by the Byzantine church)
c.   1305 - Catastrophe of Kesruan
i.   The beginning of occupation (which they have never returned from)
ii.   Mameluks destroyed Kesruan
B.   Fighting for oneself and the Muslims vs. Israel
1.   Timeframe of Liberation Movements
a.   Historical
b.   Contemporary
2.   Famous Movements: Palestinian Liberation Movement
3.   Motivation
a.   Hope - Through this they (may) not be a Dhimma - probably wouldn't happen
b.   Recognition - They will be noticed if you are saying Israel is harming you which will bring you a lot of money because you are the "underdog"
c.   Survival - Christians think they will only survive if they follow what the ruling Muslim country accepts them