Climate: mostly desert; hot, dry, sunny summers (June to August) and mild, rainy winters (December to February) along coast; cold weather with snow or sleet periodically in Damascus
Terrain: primarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west.
Environment Issues: deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; depletion of water resources; water pollution from raw sewage and petroleum refining wastes; inadequate potable water
Ethnic Groups: Arab ~50%, Alawite ~15%, Kurd ~10%, Levantine ~10%, other ~15% (includes Druze, Ismaili, Imami, Nusairi, Assyrian, Turkoman, Armenian).
Languages: Arabic (official), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian, French, English.
Government Type: presidential republic; highly authoritarian regime
URGENT is engaged in the following activities within Syria:
- Church Planting
- Humanitarian Efforts
Syrian Christian minorities enjoy freedom and stability, possibly unparalleled through the Middle East. The Orthodox and Catholic churches existed since before Islam and endure still with many godly members. The majority are Arab, but there is also a large Armenian community. Christians are concentrated in the cities, but finding housing and employment is increasingly challenging due to discrimination. Their proportion steadily declines through continual emigration. Pray against this trend. Thank God for their longstanding presence and the wise leadership of the Christian communities, and pray that these communities might flower again. Pray for renewal in these ancient traditions.
The Protestant presence is small but growing. Most Protestant converts come from Orthodox and Catholic backgrounds. There is an evangelical presence in most cities, but rarely in smaller towns. Growth can only occur if more leaders (ordained and lay) receive theological and leadership training; the signs are that many are willing.
- Pray for a swift end to the horrific civil war with people of peace rising to leadership.
- Pray for Jesus to reveal Himself to the millions of Muslims displaced by the war.
- Pray for the Church to be protected and expanded amid hostility.
- Security Tier: 1
- Religion: Muslim
- Engagement Scale: 1
33.8938° N, 35.5018° E
(1=High to 50=Low)