Beirut’s recent trash woes have given light to its underlying political instability but Lebanon is often overlooked for its religious tolerance and diversity. The small country that borders the Mediterranean officially recognises 18 different religious denominations, each with the freedom to administer marriage, divorce and alimony matters to those of their faith.

Civil marriage is also a viable option for all denominations, and is increasingly popular, especially among couples from different faiths. Some might argue, however, that the increased freedoms come at a price.

According to statistics from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, between the years of 2000 and 2013, the divorce rate in Lebanon increased by 55 percent. Regardless, many maintain that the flexibility is necessary. This system legitimises various different religious courts which then coordinate and communicate with other courts, government bodies, that control disputes outside of the religious context.

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