Do People Still Worship Baal? by Nero Calatrava (link)
Ever since the authors of the Bible portrayed Baal as a wicked god, to whom worshippers would sacrifice their first-born sons, Baal has had an image problem.
It was not always thus. For hundreds of years before the Bible demonized him, Baal was worshipped by the Canaanites as a fertility god, the bringer of rain, the prince of peace, the defender of the people.
Around 1200 BCE, terrifying bands of warriors came from over the Mediterranean and laid waste to the cities of Canaan and thus began the long decline of Baal’s reign and the ascent of a new power in the Levant – the power of Israel’s God, Yahweh.
Imagine my surprise, then, when in April of this year I chanced upon a village in Syria where the locals continue to worship Baal, as their ancestors did thousands of years ago. For over two millennia this community has survived in relative obscurity in the Jabal an Nusayriyah mountain range. Along with other mountain sects such as the Alawites and the Druze, the very remoteness of their settlements has afforded them some protection against the waves of religious intolerance that have swept the Middle East with such alarming frequency.
*canaanitepath.com is inactive- it looks like much of the activity has moved to the "canaanite recon" tag on tumblr.