Christmas in Lebanon
Although no recent, accurate census has been taken, most experts believe that Muslims constitute more than fifty percent of the population of this Middle Eastern nation. The vast majority of those remaining are Christians. Most of these people belong to the Maronite Church or various Orthodox churches. A very small percentage of people adhere to other religions. Strife between Muslims and Christians fueled a civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1990. In spite of this recent conflict, in the past several years, when Christmas fell during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, some Muslims honored the eve of Jesus’ birth with special gatherings and gift exchanges. Others hung shooting star decorations on the tents where they assembled to celebrate their own festival (see also Star of Bethlehem).