Los Angeles Times

Finding a life partner is hard enough. For those of the Druze faith, their future depends on it

BEIRUT _ Reem Kaedbey was never very religious. She's not even sure there is a God.

But when it came to marriage, she never had any doubt she would choose within her family's sect, a tiny offshoot of Shiite Islam known as the Druze faith.

"It's a requirement for my parents," said 28-year-old Kaedbey, who lives near Beirut and works for the United Nations. "I didn't want to get into problems."

Finding a life partner is hard enough for anybody. Members of the Druze faith face an added pressure: keeping the religion alive.

The faith is thought to have about 1.5 million members, with most living in Lebanon, where they make up 5 percent of the population, and Syria, where they make up 3 percent. But an exodus of

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