Freemasonry in Lebanon

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Freemasonry in Lebanon started with the charter of a Lodge by the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1861, and has expanded to include Lodges working in multiple languages (including Arabic and French) and chartered under multiple jurisdictions and streams.

History

The first Masonic Lodge to be erected in Lebanon was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1861 and was given the name Palestine Lodge No. 415. This lodge was operating in Beirut but then it became dormant in 1895. Four other Scottish lodges were chartered in Lebanon prior to the First World War. The Grand Orient of France chartered a lodge in 1869, working in Arabic. Two further lodges followed, but none survived the First World War.

Other new lodges formed prior to World War I were a lodge at Beirut under the Ottoman Grand Lodge (later the Grand Lodge of Turkey), and a lodge under the National Grand Lodge of Egypt, erected about 1914. A number of other Egyptian-warranted lodges were chartered thereafter, and after the First World War these were formed into a District Grand Lodge. By the end of World War Two, these lodges were extinct, merged, or had changed jurisdictional authority.

One lodge was chartered in Lebanon under the Grand Orient of Italy called Fraternità Italo-Libanse, erected at Jounieh in 1989, but this lodge lost its charter in the 1990s.

In the early 1970's, The Cedars Grand Lodge (GLDC) erected, and started the reform of the Lebanese Freemasonry in 1979.

GLDC members were the pioneers in the social help in Lebanon since the civil war, and continue in contributing in the education and health services of multiple families in Lebanon.

The first Grand Lodge of New York-chartered lodge was the Syrio-American Lodge #1, formed in 1924 by returning American-Lebanese immigrants, Several further lodges were erected prior to World War II, and subsequently. After the war, Turbol Lodge No.9 was erected in 1949, Lebanon Lodge No.10 in 1955, and Ani Lodge No.11 in 1960. A research lodge, Veritas, was chartered in 1993. With the exception of one lodge originally erected in Syria, all New York chartered lodges in its Syria-Lebanon District (eleven in total) have operated in recent times.[1]

During the Lebanese Civil War, most lodges became dormant, although at least Syrio-American Lodge No. 1 continued to meet intermittently and still exists today. Since the cessation of the civil war, all five Scottish lodges have re-commenced work, as did the New York lodges.

In October 2010, the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia chartered Phoenix Lodge 1001 in Al Fanar, Beirut, and on June 2014, the newest Lodge under the Grand Lodge of Scotland was chartered, Lodge Pythagoras 1841, raising the number of regular Masonic Lodges in Lebanon to 18 Lodges divided among three Grand Lodges: the Grand Lodge of NY (11) Grand Lodge of Scotland (7) and Grand Lodge of Washington, DC (1).

Lately, the first feminine lodge in Lebanon and the Middle East was erected in Beirut in the year 2015. Tanit Lodge was chartered by the Grande Loge Féminine de France.

References