According to the Cyprus Constitution, Maronites are one of the three Religious Groups in Cyprus, the third largest after the Orthodox and Muslims. They belong to the Eastern Christian doctrine of the Catholic Church which is based in Antioch . Their name is derived from Saint Maron.
It is believed that they first settled in Cyprus at the end of the 7th century when Emperor Justinian II moved the Mardites from neighbouring Syria in the area of Antalya. The short distance to Cyprus prompted many of them to move and settle in the northwest of the island. The first Maronites arrived in Cyprus in the late 8th century after the bloody persecutions that took place in Syria and Lebanon by the Arab Muslim conquerors. Migrations also occurred over the following centuries, culminating in the mass migration of the 13th century when, according to the French historian Mas Latrie, they reached 80,000 and lived in 60 villages.
The Maronite Catholic Archeparchy of Cyprus was founded in 1319 in Nicosia, with its first Bishop being Hananya. After the death of Cypriot Bishop Luke in 1673, it was transferred to Beirut, only to return back to Nicosia again in 1988. The Maronites follow the Latin calendar as of 1840. Before the Turkish invasion in 1974 , the Maronites lived in three villages in the district of Kyrenia. The Maronite villages they were called, Kormakitis, Asomatos and Karpaseia, and in Ayia Marina, a village in the district of Nicosia. According to the latest Demographic Report of the Statistical Service in 2017, the Maronites constitute 0.7% of the Greek Cypriot Community (the Greek Cypriot community numbers 713,500 people) and are scattered throughout the island, whilst maintaining their own clubs, schools, and language as well as their own churches, monasteries and cemeteries. The Maronites of Cyprus, as already mentioned, have their own language, which is spoken only in the village of Kormakitis and there is an attempt to revive the language through the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Non-Governmental Organization Xκi fi Sanna.
After the independence of Cyprus in 1960 and under Article 9 on Religious Groups, the Maronites may elect a Representative to the House of Representatives, without the right to vote.