Area: 185,180 sq km
Fertile plain on Mediterranean coast; 60% desert in centre and east but crossed by the Euphrates River.
Population: 22,505,091 Annual Growth: 3.31%
Official language: Arabic Languages: 22 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
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Unreached peoples to pray for:
a) The Sunni Arab majority, most have never heard the gospel.
b) The Alawites are a minority but also the group that produces the presidents. They are very influential in the army and government. They are an offshoot of Islam whose beliefs differ much from orthodox Islamic faith, with some potential spiritual bridges to Christianity.
c) The Druze in the south are a secretive offshoot of Islam. Though hard to reach in the past, there is increasing contact and response, with a few small groups of believers.
d) The Kurds of the north and northwest are more receptive than most Arabs. Due to the politically sensitive nature of the Kurdish issue, it is generally difficult to engage them. Some are Orthodox Christian, others Yezidis and Shia, but most are Sunni Muslim.
e) The Bedouin, Circassian, Turkmen and Gypsy minorities are mostly unreached. There are now some Christians among the Bedouin and Gypsy peoples, and there is hope of more.
Foreign Christian workers are allowed to minister within the Christian community, but only under the capable leadership of the national church. The door is more open than ever for those with a servant mentality, with several strategic opportunities. Pray for the ministry of Christian professionals, especially other Arabs, living in the country. These tentmakers play a vital role in developing Syria professionally as well as spiritually; pray for them. The presence of Christian workers in Syria is a fragile and precarious thing; pray for great wisdom and discretion for them and for openness on the part of the government.
For an additional 7 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Syria.