Genetic studies show crusaders influenced religion in Lebanon

A new study shows that some Lebanese men carry genes traceable to Western Europe, a heritage, say researchers, from Crusaders who established settlements and castles in the country in the 11th through 13th centuries.

The study, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics shows that Christian men in the country tend to carry more European genetic traces, while Muslim men "were more likely than Christians to carry a particular genetic signature. But this one is linked to expansions from the Arabian Peninsula which brought Islam to the area in the 7th and 8th Centuries." Dr Spencer Wells, director of the Genographic Project said "This is odd because typically we don't see this sort of stratification by religion when we are looking at the relative proportions of these lineages - and particularly immigration events."