Syrian Arab in Spain

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Assad family ruled Syria since 1971. Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad seemed like he might allow for more freedom when he took power in 2000, but censorship and surveillance continued to be the norm. Higher expectations came during the Arab Spring in the early 2010s and Syrians became dissatisfied with their government. The Sunni Muslim majority rebelled against the Assads, who are part of the minority Alawite religion. Demonstrations led to an all-out civil war in 2011. Refugees fled in record numbers, mainly to Europe.
They arrived in southern European countries like Greece and Spain, only to find that the poor economies would not sustain them. From there, Syrian Arab refugees fanned out to the north, especially to Germany and Sweden, two countries with pro-refugee policies. Others went to Belgium, Finland, Denmark, France, the UK, and other parts of northern Europe in the mid 2010s. A very small number are in Spain.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Partly because Spain has a weak economy by European standards, there are few Syrian Arabs settling there. Syrians are more likely to go to countries in northern Europe where there are better job prospects. Those who live in Spain often must settle for low paying jobs like selling goods from a pushcart or working in a restaurant.
Syrian Arabs in Spain are usually there temporarily with refugee status. That means they have the same rights as Spanish citizens, which includes medical care. Unlike those who migrate further north, the Syrians in Spain find the culture more like their own. Arab culture values family and leisure time just like their Spanish hosts. Christ followers can use this as a bridge to reach Syrians.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Syrians in Spain might be part of the Alawite religion, an offshoot of Shia Islam. The majority are Sunni Muslim. There are also Christians among the Syrians. These Christians are usually Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox or Roman Catholic. There are a small number of Protestants as well.
Though there is more freedom of religion in Syria than most Arab majority country, the Syrians have found more freedom to choose their own spiritual answers in Spain. People are far more likely to make spiritual changes when they arrive in a new situation than they are when they get settled.

What Are Their Needs?

Syrian Arabs in Spain need to learn the Spanish language and get prepared to become permanent members of society. Many of the Syrians were well-qualified for high paying jobs in Syria but they need additional job and language training if they are going to remain.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Holy Spirit to revive the Syrian churches, leading them to make disciples who make more disciples to follow Christ will all their hearts.
Pray for their fellowships to be Christ centered rather than tradition centered.
Pray there will soon come a day when Syrian Arabs will send loving workers to the unreached people groups in Syria.
Pray for spiritual hunger and a discernment that will keep them away from spiritual counterfeits.

Scripture Prayers for the Arab, Syrian in Spain.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Arab, Syrian
People Name in Country Arab, Syrian
Natural Name Syrian Arab
Pronunciation SEER-ee-un AE-rub
Alternate Names Arab; Arab, Levantine; Lebanese Arab; Levantine Arab; Palestinian Arab; South Levantine; Syrian Arab
Population this Country 2,500
Population all Countries 20,176,000
Total Countries 38
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 2
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 15152
ROP3 Code 109662
ROP25 Code 300420
ROP25 Name Arab, Syrian
Country Spain
Region Europe, Western
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Spain
Region Europe, Western
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 2.00 %)
10.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
88.00 %
2.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Arabic, Levantine (2,500 speakers)
Language Code apc   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Arabic, Levantine (2,500 speakers)
Language Code apc   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Arabic, Levantine
Photo Source James Gordon - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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