The Syria of today offers tourists as much a cultural experience as a sightseeing one, where ancient history provides a fascinating backdrop to everyday life on the streets                          



Christianity in Syria


Christianity has quite a strong presence in Syria. Ever since its early years, Christianity has had its roots in Syria. 

Damascus is where St. Paul escaped from the Jews by being dropped through a window in a basket in the Via Recta. St. John the Baptist's head is said to be located in the Umayyad Mosque, which used to be a church. St. Simeon the Stylite lived on a pillar for about 40 years to get closer to God. Last but not least the villagers in Maaloula still speak Aramean, the language of Jesus (P).

There are several Christian communities, who on a whole constitute approx. 8% of the Syrian population. Christianity in Syria is divided into three parts. Catholic Churches, Orthodox Churches, and the Protestants. The Catholic Churches are divided into the following: Greek Catholics, Syrian Catholics, Armenian Catholics, Chaldean Catholics, Maronite Catholics, and Latin Catholics. All have their own Patriarch, although the highest position is the Pope in the Vatican. The Orthodox Churches are divided into Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, and Armenian Orthodox. These Churches also have their own patriarchs although the Armenians are under the guidance of a Patriarch in Armenia. Protestants are few and are under the guidance of a Thinodus (A level of Priesthood).

Many Christians live in the villages of Maaloula, Seidnaya, Safita, and Marmarita. Aleppo, where approximately 10% of the population is Christian, has a large number of Armenians, who fled from Armenia in the days of the Ottoman Empire when they were persecuted and massacred. Between 1 and 2 million died. 

Christianity in Syria is strongly recognized and National holidays include Christmas, New Years day, and Easter. The Armenian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on the 6th of January. As for Easter it is celebrated on two different dates, the customary Western date (celebrated by the Catholic Churches, Protestants and Armenian Orthodox), the other date is celebrated by the Syrian and Greek Orthodox

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