syria religion
In any case, the bedrock of support from sections of the Sunni community has been key to Assad’s survival. own legal systems. Alawite, Kurd, and Levantine account for 15%, 10%, and 10% of the Syrian population, respectively. In addition the government continued to monitor the activities of all organizations, including religious groups, and to discourage proselytizing, which it deemed a threat to relations among and within different faiths. Historical Alawite heartlands lie in the mountainous hinterland of Syria’s Mediterranean coast in the country’s west, next to the coastal city of Latakia. The term Canaanite is often used broadly to cover a number The majority of Syrians are Muslims, of which the Sunnis are the most numerous (formed mostly of Syrian Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen/Turkoman, and Circassians), followed by the Shia groups (particularly Alawis and Isma'ilis), and Druzes. [11] Moreover, there are also some members of the larger communities, particularly within the Kurdish and Turkmen/Turkoman minorities, who no longer speak their mother tongue and have become Arabized. inhabited; some 120 villages are exclusively so. However, some religious communities tend to be more supportive of the regime than others, fueling mutual suspicion and religious intolerance in many parts of the country. live in the manner prescribed by the revealed law and upon the community, "Middle East Public Opinion Survey (Syria 2017)", "International Religious Freedom Report for 2012", "In Syria's war, Alawites pay heavy price for loyalty to Bashar al-Assad", Report: Hizbullah Training Shiite Syrians to Defend Villages against Rebels,, The former beliefs are especially marked among the bedouin, who use amulets, charms, and incantations as protective devices against the evil power of jinns (spirits) and the evil eye. You will be redirected to our payment portal. Nearly 90 percent of the Alawis, also known as Nusayris, live in Al Ladhiqiyah Province in the rural areas of the Jabal an Nusayriyah; they constitute over 80 percent of the rural population of the province. Some also live in the Jazirah region of Syria and outside of Aleppo. [12], Most Circassians in Syria are Sunni Muslims. jurisdiction of the Muslim code. [6] By 1991 Professor Alasdair Drysdale and Professor Raymond Hinnebusch also said that approximately 8.5% of the country was formed of Sunni Muslim Kurds. Although the faiths theoretically enjoy equal legal status, to some extent Islam is favored. While most Shiites in Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon belong to the mainstream Twelver branch, this principal form of Shiite Islam is only a tiny minority in Syria, concentrated in parts of the capital city of Damascus. minorities, and proportionately fewer Muslims were emigrating abroad. , Sunnis constitute 74 percent of the population and are present throughout the country. Most of the regular government soldiers fighting the rebels are Sunni recruits (though thousands have defected to various opposition groups), and Sunnis hold leading positions in the government, the bureaucracy, the ruling Baath Party and the business community. [3] In addition, there are several Christian minorities (including Armenian Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox). Therefore, Mary was not the mother of God but only of the man Jesus. The largest denominations in the country are from these eastern churches, like the Orthodox Church of Antioch, the … Since the early 1960s, heavy emigration of Christians has been noted; in fact, some authorities state that at least 50 percent of the 600,000 people who left during the decade ending in 1968 were Christians. [4][5][6] There is also a small Jewish community. Most of the top rank in Assad's army and intelligence services are Alawites, making the Alawite community as a whole closely identified with the government camp in the civil war. Although the faiths theoretically enjoy equal legal status, to some [18], There are many Syrian Druze also living abroad, particularly in Latin America, who have been living there for over the past hundred years. Unorthodox religious beliefs of this kind are probably more common Nearly 90 percent of the Alawis, also The Jabal al Arab, a rugged and mountainous In Syria, Jews of both origins, numbering altogether fewer than 3,000 in 1987, are found. They have not proselytised since the 11th century, and the religion remains closed to outsiders. In matters of personal status, such as birth, marriage, and inheritance, the Christian, Jewish, and Druze minorities follow their own legal systems.  Since the early 1960s, heavy emigration of Christians has been noted;in fact, some authorities state that at least 50 percent of the 600,000 people who left during the decade ending in 1968 were Christians. The Orthodox churches are autonomous; the Uniate churches, which are in communion with Rome; and the Assyrian Church of the East is independent. These religions are usually defined by the languages of those who practiced them: e.g., Amorite, Hurrian, Ugaritic, Phoenician, Aramaic, and Moabite. [4], Although the majority of Sunni Syrians are considered "Arabs", this is a term based on spoken language (Arabic), not ethnicity. A majority of Syrians belong to Sunni Islam, as do almost 90% of all Muslims in the world. Starting in the 1940s, shortly after independence, many individual Alawis attained individual power and prestige. The non-Muslim people of the book living under Muslim occupation were called dhimmis. Druzes The main Eastern groups belong to the autonomous Orthodox churches, the Uniate churches (which recognize the Roman Catholic Pope), or the independent Nestorian Church. Tradition folk beliefs are mostly practiced among the Bedouin nomadic people of the Middle East and North Africa. The Druze community still holds an important role in the Syrian military to this day. The Twelvers in Syria have close ties with those in neighboring Lebanon. Most Christians live in Membership in a religious community is ordinarily determined by The Syrian tends to view religion instrumentally, depending on the deity and subsidiary powers to aid in times of trouble, solve problems, and assure success. Alawis In matters of personal status, such as birth, marriage, and inheritance, the Christian, Jewish, and Druze minorities follow their own legal systems. [18] The main centre of the Druze population is in As-Suwayda; the small towns and villages under its authority is called the Jabal al-Druze (the "Mountain of the Druze"). Religion permeates life in all but the most sophisticated social groups. the deity and subsidiary powers to aid in times of trouble, solve Most Christians live in Damascus and Aleppo, although significant numbers live in Al Hasakah Province in northeastern Syria. All other statistical information on the demographics of the migrant Especially among the young, relations between Christians and Muslims are improving. and about half of whom live in the vicinity of Amuda in the Jazirah. For example, Syrian Christians are more highly urbanized than Muslims;many live either in or around Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, or Latakia, and there are relatively fewer of them in the lower income groups. sect, are concentrated between Homs and Aleppo; they constitute nearly They also revere Ali ibn Abi Talib (601-661), the son-in-law and cousin of the prophet Muhammad (570-632). Due to this split, Ismaili Shia Islam has only line of Imamat that continues to this day, with Prince Aga Khan IV being the 49th hereditary Imam. Syrian Christians are relatively wealthy and highly educated than other Syrian religious groups. Today, one’s religious background is given consideration in family law and both Muslim and Christian state holidays are followed. Most Jews have left over the years do to limited economic freedom and constant surveillance, the Syrian Civil War was just the last tipping point for the remaining few left to leave. There are several social differences between Christians and Muslims. Since the Assad family took over Syria in 1970 the Sunni have been locked out of the vast majority of high-ranking government positions in the Assad regime. The majority of Christians adhere to the Eastern groups that have existed in the country since the earliest days of Christianity. Protestant Christian denominations include Baptists and Mennonites. observers maintain that the conditions of the nonMuslim minorities have Some businessmen and middle-class Sunnis support the regime because they want to protect their material interests. The ethnically Kurdish religious group of the Yazidis, migrated from Turkey to the area around the city of Sinjar in Iraq on the border with Syria in the 15th century. After the outbreak of the anti-government uprising in 2011, the vast majority of Alawites rallied behind the Assad regime, fearful of discrimination if the Sunni majority came to power. Others organized militias to defend their neighborhoods from Sunni rebels, adding yet another layer to the fragmentation of Syria’s religious society. The Government conducts a census every 10 years, the most recent of which was in 2004. Arabs comprise 50% of Syria’s population. of the sexes from much of the formal religious life of the community, The Assad family has been in power since 1970 (Bashar al-Assad's father, Hafez al-Assad, served as president from 1971 until his death in 2000), and although it presided over a secular regime, many Syrians think Alawites have enjoyed privileged access to top government jobs and business opportunities. Slight differences concerning which books of the Bible are counted as canonical are also apparent. In addition, there are several Christian minorities. The Arab Christian minority in Syria at one time enjoyed relative security under Assad, integrated by the regime’s secular nationalist ideology. The Assyrians accept only the First and Second and deny being Nestorian in doctrine (two natures in a personal non-essential union). Believers, especially women, visit Many Christians, particularly the Eastern Orthodox, have joined the Arab nationalist movement and some are changing their Aramaic or Westernized names to Arabic ones. Historically, the region has been a mosaic of diverse faiths with a range of different sects within each of these religious communities. demonstrate their loyalty to and solidarity with the state. People generally have a lot of freedom to determine their personal levels of religious practice and devotion. The Alawite (or Alawi) sect is a variation of Shi’a Islam and the largest religious minority in Syria. Around a third of Alawite young men have been killed in the Syrian Civil War. [4], The Turkish-speaking Turkmen/Turkoman are the third largest ethnic group in the country (around 4%–5% in 2013) and are mainly Sunni Muslims. However, in 2016 the de facto autonomous Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava for the first time in Syrian history introduced and started to promote civil marriage as a move towards a secular open society and intermarriage between people of different religious backgrounds.[27]. They also live in the city of Masyaf and in the surrounding countryside, as well as a small minority living in the city of Hama. [6] By 1991 Professor Alasdair Drysdale and Professor Raymond Hinnebusch also said that approximately 3% of the country was formed of Sunni Muslim Turkmen/Turkoman. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. var setNptTechAdblockerCookie = function(adblocker) { Sunnis follow nearly all occupations, belong to all social groups and nearly every political party, and live in all parts of the country. Sunni Muslims. With their higher urbanization, income, and educational levels, the Christians have therefore somewhat the same relation to other Syrians as the Jewish community formerly did before most Jews left for Israel. Syrian Jews are Arabic-speaking and barely distinguishable from the Arabs around them. In addition to the beliefs taught by the organized religions, many people believe strongly in powers of good and evil and in the efficacy of local saints.


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