TEL AVIV (Jun. 17)
The community of ?reses in Israel, numbering about 20,000 men, women and children, has asked the Israeli Ministry of Religion to accord it an independent religious status.
The Druses are a Moslem sect whose tenets and practices differ in many ways from the predominant Moslem teachings. They migrated from the southern Caucausas about a half century ago, and a large member of them settled in Lebanon and in northern Palestine, where they have established many villages around Haifa, Acre and Safad.
For the first time since their migration to the Levant, they have been permitted to hold their religious services by the state of Israel. In asking an independent status now, the Druses are apparently seeking legal separation from the Moslem religion.