Unlike many other Arab nations, Syria does not have a state religion. The country’s constitution guarantees freedom of worship to all religions. The constitution originally did not mention Islam, but at the request of the Syrian public, a clause was added that says the head of state must be Muslim. The current government wants to keep religion and politics separate. 

Muslims make up 90% of the Syrian population. Islam, the religion of Muslims, originated in Arabia in 6th century. Islam means submission to the will of Allah (God). The Qu’ran is the holy book of Islam.

Muslims believe that Allah revealed himself to his prophet Mohammed. They observe five practices known as the five pillars of Islam. The shahada is the profession of faith: “There is no God but God (Allah) and Mohammed is his prophet.” Salat is the requirement to pray five times a day: at dawn, midday, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening. Zakat is the giving of alms to the poor. Saum is the requirement to fast from sunrise to sunset during the month of Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic year. Finally, hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims must make at least once in their lives if possible, which may include a stop in Medina to pay respects at the Prophet’s grave. 
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Friday is a day of rest for Muslims. Congregational prayers are held in mosques. A few businesses reopen after the Friday noontime prayer, according to the custom in many Arab countries, but most businesses remain closed all day.
There are two main forms of Islam: Sunni and Shi’ite. In Syria, 78% of the Muslim population is Sunni Muslim. Syrian Shi’ites may be members of the Alawite or Ismaili sects. There is also a special sect called Druze. The Druze live in southern Syria. They follow a religion that is similar to Islam, but contains elements of Christianity and Judaism.

Christians make up about 10% of the Syrian population. They include Armenian Catholics, Armenian Orthodox, Assyrian Catholics, Assyrian Orthodox and the Assyrian Church of the East. There are also small communities of Roman Catholics, Protestants and Uniates (a religion that unites Orthodox and Roman Catholic practices).