Why is the Druze religion so secret

The Druze - An influential secret religion in Lebanon

Originating from a Muslim tradition in Syria in the middle of the 11th century, the Druze spread under various religious leaders to India in the east and Israel in the south. Their teaching is based on the Koran, but it also contains elements of the Greek philosopher Plato: The Druze believe in transmigration of souls, similar to Buddhist reincarnation; a dying person is reborn in a baby's soul.

This logic also explains why the Druze communities are so exclusive: You cannot convert to Druze or marry, you are only a Druze as a child of Druze parents, as the soul of an "initiate" was reborn in you. In general, very little is known about the Druze and they are considered members of a secret religion, and their traditions and rituals only take place in secrecy. According to stories, they closed their community because of the hostility in the Islamic world, and missionary activities are even undesirable because they reveal Druze to the "ignorant".

Because for the Druze Mohammed is not the actual prophet and the Koran is not the revelation of God, they are frowned upon by some Muslim scholars violent assault was responsible.

Only in Lebanon do the Druze play a social and political role, here they even provided the rulers in the region during the Ottoman Empire and an autonomous Druze emirate was proclaimed. Even today you can find many Druze villages in the mountains, the men wear black robes and white headgear and you won't find any mosques there - secret religions like the Druze arouse an incredible curiosity about me, why did they decide to isolate themselves at a time full of proselytizing by crusaders and Muslim leaders? What secrets do they keep to this day? What is your everyday life like? I would have loved to report from real encounters with Druze, but they live their values ​​of secrecy, loyalty and a sense of responsibility - and a traveler like me is greeted in a friendly manner, but without revealing a single thing about their secret religion ...

In their settlement areas in Israel, Syria and Jordan, however, the Druze are more divided; and their determined distancing from other Muslim groups creates tension. For example in Israel: Many Druze communities live on the Golan Heights in the Israeli mountains, isolated from local society. Until the Syrian civil war they saw themselves as Syrians, as Arabs, but now they are falling into an identity crisis; do you want to continue to commit to Syria and Assad? Or to modern, western Israel? Many young people in particular go abroad to study and work successfully in Israel, but most of them return anyway - because Druze determines their identity.