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Region Middle East
Leader President Bashar al-Assad
Population 18 907 000
Christian 4.2%
Main Religion Islam
Government Presidential Republic
Rank 15
Score 76
Previous Rank 6
Previous Score 86

“We have had enough suffering here.”

Since 2011, Syria’s civil war has devastated the entire population, including the Christians living there. By the start of 2017, 4.8 million people had fled the country, and a further 6.5 million remained displaced inside Syria. Since the start of the war, over half the Christian population have fled the country. Many ancient cities have been destroyed and are now shadows of their former selves.

Christianity has a long history in Syria, mentioned several times in the New Testament. In 2016 fighting stopped in the second largest city of Aleppo due to a peace agreement. Islamic State’s influence was weakened due to increased pressure in Iraq. These developments, however, have not yet brought an end to hostilities.

The overall situation in Syria is characterised by the heavy persecution of all types of Christians, especially in areas held by Islamic militants. Most churches are in ruins, yet some Christians make a deliberate choice to stay and reach out to their fellow countrymen with the Gospel.

Open Doors, through the support of local partners, offer Syrian Christians relief aid, Bibles, discipleship materials, church leadership training, trauma counselling, and more.

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