The Maronites (Arabic: الموارنة; al-mawārinah, Syriac: ܡܪ̈ܘܢܝܐ; maronāyé) are a Christian ethnoreligious group in the Levant. They derive their name from the Syriac saint Mar Maron whose followers moved to Mount Lebanon from northern Syria establishing the Maronite Church.
Maronites were able to maintain an independent status in Mount Lebanon and its coastline after the Arab Islamic conquest, maintaining their religion and language until the 13th century.
The Ottoman Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate and later the Republic of Lebanon were created under the auspice of European powers with the Maronites as their main ethnic component. Mass immigration to the Americas at the wake of the 20th century and the Lebanese Civil War decreased their numbers greatly in the Levant. Maronites today form more than one quarter of the total population in the country of Lebanon. Oral traditions impose that each President of Lebanon be of Maronite faith.