Dr Zalloua says in Lebanon the Phoenician signature is distributed equally among different groups and that the overall genetic make-up of the Lebanese is proving to be similar across various backgrounds.
"Whether you take a Christian village in the north of Lebanon or a Muslim village in the south, the DNA make-up of its residents is likely to be identical," says Dr Zalloua.
But, from another older BBC story referring to the actual study:
The team analysed the Y chromosomes of 926 Lebanese males and found that patterns of male genetic variation in Lebanon fell more along religious lines than along geographical lines.
and from the study itself:
In the present study, 926 Lebanese men were typed with Y-chromosomal SNP and STR markers, and unusually, male genetic variation within Lebanon was found to be more strongly structured by religious affiliation than by geography.We therefore tested the hypothesis that migrations within historical times could have contributed to this situation. Y-haplogroup J*(xJ2) was more frequent in the putative Muslim source region (the Arabian Peninsula) than in Lebanon, and it was also more frequent in Lebanese Muslims than in Lebanese non-Muslims. Conversely, haplogroup R1b was more frequent in the putative Christian source region (western Europe) than in Lebanon and was also more frequent in Lebanese Christians than in Lebanese non-
If a Christian village and a Muslim village are likely to have "identical" DNA makeup, then why is genetic variation strongly structured by religious affiliation and not by geography?
Since contradictions don't exist in nature, the explanation is simple: in the published scientific article, which had to go through peer-review, someone could not claim that there are no differences between Christian and Muslim Lebanese. But, to the polloi of Lebanon, it is apparently alright to sell a vision of national unity and identity.
I don't know what % of modern Lebanese are descended from Phoenicians, but I detest the idea of mixing science with politics.
More on the topic of "Lebanese Phoenicians":