Population: 21,1 millions (2012)
Official language: Arabic
Major religion: Islam
IFES movement: Syrian Intervarsity Ministry (SIM)
Syria is currently suffering a civil war which has destroyed large areas of cities and villages.
The Christian community in Syria forms 5% of the population. It includes Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Armenians and Evangelical Christians.
- main university in Syria is Syrian National University with faculties and branches in the big cities
- no staff; ministry is run by board members and volunteers
Student ministry in Syria started officially around 10 years ago when a board of seven leaders was formed. These board members represent the different areas within Syria, as well the different evangelical denominations. The ministry of course is facing difficulties and challenges because of the unstable security and political situation.
SIM ministry is based mainly on forming and encouraging bible study groups, training and regular conferences. The most active bible study groups and SIM ministry are in the capital Damascus.
View from the inside
The IFES Area Coordinator for the Middle East says, ‘After a period of preparation and prayer, the last SIM conference was held in Lebanon, around two hours by car from the Syrian-Lebanese border. You cannot imagine the joy and enthusiasm which appeared on the participants’ faces who came to change, absorb, and learn, to grow more spiritually and discuss how to manage their conflicts. It was amazing to see students worship and express their joy in spite of the tragedy they are living in their country.’
- for peace in Syria and for security for students, especially in these times of devastation and conflict;
- for encouragement for the church and students to continue their mission during this difficult time;
- for student ministry to grow and develop.