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However, another study, conducted by IBGE in 2008, covering only the states of Amazonas, Paraíba, São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso and Distrito Federal, 0.9% of white Brazilian respondents said they had family origins in the Middle East.Note: An important percentage of Arabs in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Bulgaria, Denmark, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Republic of Macedonia, Italy, Portugal, Spain, New Zealand, Ghana and Ivory Coast are of Lebanese ancestry. The main two religions are Christianity (the Maronite Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Melkite, the Protestant Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Armenian Catholic Church) and Islam (Shia and Sunni). No official census has been taken since 1932, reflecting the political sensitivity in Lebanon over confessional (i.e. A study conducted by Statistics Lebanon, a Beirut-based research firm, cited by the United States Department of State found that of Lebanon's population of approximately 4.3 million is estimated to be: The CIA World Factbook specifies that of those residing in Lebanon, 59.7% are Muslims (Shia, Sunni, Druze, Sufi and Alawites) and 39% are Christians (mostly Maronites, Greek Orthodox, Melkite, Armenian Apostolic Church, Armenian Catholic Church, Assyrian Church of the East, Syriac Orthodox, Chaldean Catholic, Syrian Catholics) and 1.3% "Other".Legally registered Muslims form around 54% of the population (Shia, Sunni, Alawite).
some Lebanese prefer to see Lebanon, Lebanese culture and themselves as part of "Mediterranean" and "Levantine" civilization, in a concession to Lebanon's various layers of heritage, both indigenous, foreign non-Arab, and Arab.
Arab influence, nevertheless, applies to virtually all aspects of the modern Lebanese culture.
More specifically, according to Chris Tyler-Smith, a geneticist and his colleagues at the Sanger Institute in Britain, who compared "sampled ancient DNA from five Canaanite people who lived 3,750 and 3,650 years ago" to modern people.
"The comparison revealed that 90 percent of the genetic ancestry of people in Lebanon came from the Canaanites.
(it has to be noted that voter registration does not include people under 18 and unregistered voters) that puts the numbers as following: Sunni Islam 27.65 %, Shia Islam 27.34%, Maronite Catholic 21.05%, Greek Orthodox 7.34%, Druze 5.74%, Melkite Catholic 4.76%, Armenian Apostolic 2.64%, other Christian Minorities 1.28%, Alawite Shia Islam 0.88%, Armenian Catholic 0.62%, Evangelical Protestant 0.53%, and other 0.18% of the population.
However, as soon as the diaspora is included, the Christians become an absolute majority.
As the relative proportion of the various sects is politically sensitive, Lebanon has not collected official census data on ethnic background since the 1932 under the French Mandate.
It is therefore difficult to have an exact demographic analysis of Lebanese society.
Even though Lebanon is a secular country, family matters such as marriage, divorce and inheritance are still handled by the religious authorities representing a person's faith.