Syrian Religion Essay

524 words - 3 pages

Syria is a very diverse area when dealing with religions. It is not all Muslim; it actually has at least 3 different religions. There are the Alawites, the Shi'i, and Sunnis to mention a couple. These are all very unique religions differing from each other in very unique ways. There are about 1.4 million Alawites in Syria. The best-known Alawite was Bashar al-Assad who was president of Syria after his father Hafez al-Assad, who was also an Alawite. Know one really knows how the Alawites originated, but some believe that the Alawites might have descended from Alexander the Great. Alawites are located mostly in Latakia, a city in the Northeastern coast of Syria, as ...view middle of the document...

They believe all people were once stars but fell from there because they were disobedient. In order to go back to where they were they have to be "transformed" seven times. Those who live faithful lives will be reborn as Christians. Yet, those who are not faithful will be reborn as animals. Then there are the Shi'i. The Shi'i represent about 10 to 15% of the Muslim world. The word Shi'I refers to Ali who was the son in law of Muhammed. The are present in various forms such as the Twelver Shi'is. They are significant minorities in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, the Gulf States, Pakistan, and India. They also represent the largest group in Iraq, and an overwhelming 88% in Iran, where they have been the state religion since back in the 16th century AD. There is also the Sunnis. The Sunni Muslims are the largest religious group in Syria. 80% are native Syrian Arabs, and the rest are Kurds, Turkomans, Circassians, and Palestinians. They follow all occupations, belong to pretty much all social groups and almost all political parties, and live across the whole country. There are only two provinces in which they are not a majority: Suwayda, and Al Ladhiqiyah, where Alawites are a majority. The Sunnis approach their God directly since they unlike other religions don't have saints, holy orders, or any true liturgy or clerical heriarchy. Among them are men of importance who lead prayers and give sermons at Friday services. The leaders look toward ancient days of islam for guidance. And up until now have the Sunnis really become aware of the need for more modern education.

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