The Assad family ruled Syria since 1971. Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad seemed like he might allow for more freedom, 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, only to find that the poor economy 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.
By the early 2020s, Syrian Arab refugees in Finland were still unable to return to Syria. Many wanted to become citizens of Finland. Other Syrian Arabs have migrated to Finland after others have settled and learned Finnish. For that reason, one can find Syrians with different levels of acculturation. Finland planned to allow for over 1,000 refugees in 2023.
Syrians in Europe 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 freedom to choose their own spiritual answers in tolerant Finland. People are far more likely to make spiritual changes when they arrive in a new situation than they are when they get settled.
Syrian Arabs in Finland need to learn the local 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 in Finland. Syrian Arab children are learning the local language and getting educated in Finland.
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 Finland.
|Profile Source: Joshua Project
|People Name General
|People Name in Country
|Arab; Arab, Levantine; Lebanese Arab; Levantine Arab; Palestinian Arab; South Levantine; Syrian Arab
|Population this Country
|Population all Countries
|Frontier People Group
|Pioneer Workers Needed
|Arabic, Levantine (16,000 speakers)
|apc Ethnologue Listing
|Yes ScriptSource Listing
Primary Language: Arabic, Levantine
|Bible Translation ▲
|FCBH NT (www.bible.is)
|YouVersion NT (www.bible.com)
|Possible Print Bibles
|Forum Bible Agencies
|National Bible Societies
|World Bible Finder
|Resource Type ▲
|Arabic Bible Online
|Arabic Bible Outreach Ministry
|Audio Bible teaching
|Global Recordings Network
|Film / Video
|Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
|Film / Video
|LUMO film of Gospels
|Bible Media Group/LUMO
|Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video
|Faith Comes by Hearing
|Gospel resources links
|YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio
|Android Bible app: Arabic, Levantine
|iOS Bible app: Arabic, Levantine
|Text / Printed Matter
|Bible: Comic Book Version
|Super Bible / Comic Bible Society
|Text / Printed Matter
|Tools for faith conversations
|Campus Crusade for Christ