Catholic World News

Patriarchs demand Syriac seats in Lebanon’s parliament

January 28, 2016

At a meeting with Lebanese political leaders, the patriarchs of the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Syriac Catholic Church demanded that two parliamentary seats, one Orthodox and one Catholic, be set aside for Syriac Christians.

In a joint statement, the patriarchs also objected to the designation of Syriac Catholics and Syriac Orthodox as religious minorities in Lebanon.

Half of the 128 seats in Lebanon’s parliament are set aside for Christians. Since 1989, 34 seats have been set aside for Maronite Catholics, 14 for Eastern Orthodox, 8 for Melkite Greek Catholics, 5 for Armenian Orthodox, 1 for an Armenian Catholic, 1 for a Protestant, and 1 for a member of a Christian minority.

The other half of the seats are set aside for Muslims: 27 for Sunni Muslims, 27 for Shiite Muslims, 8 for Druze, and 2 for Alawites.

The Syriac Catholic Church (like the Maronite, Melkite, and Armenian Catholic churches) is an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See. The Syriac Orthodox Church (like the Armenian Orthodox Church) is not an Eastern Orthodox church, but is an Oriental Orthodox church that ceased to be in full communion following the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451.

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