CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION STATUS
Approximately 74% of Syrians are Sunni Muslim, with other Muslim groups making up 13% of the population. In the past, estimates put the proportion of Christians at 10%, but this figure may now be considerably lower since large numbers of Christians are believed to have fled the country’s civil conflict.
Religious freedom in Syria has deteriorated sharply since the civil war began. Members of religious minorities are especially at risk in areas controlled by Islamic State (ISIS), which arrests, tortures, and executes members of religious groups it suspects of opposing its rule.
Five years of brutal civil conflict have devastated the country. The war has killed an estimated 400,000 people and forced 13 million more to flee their homes. Almost five million have sought safety in other countries, particularly in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.
As in other parts of the region, women are subject to gender-based discrimination and violence, particularly so-called “honor” killings. Laws assigning lower status to women compared to men are in force and reinforced by social customs.
The average adult literacy rate in Syria is 86%. 6 million have access to the Internet, and roughly two-thirds of Syrian homes have a satellite dish (CIA World Factbook).