Guide: Syria’s diverse minorities
The anti-government uprising in Syria is widely understood to be staged and supported by members of the majority Sunni Muslim population, with lesser representation from other religions.
There is a fear that the unrest - which began in March 2011 as part of the Arab Spring’ uprisings across the Middle East - could lead to ethnic and religious polarisation, with different groups having to choose sides.
Sunni Muslims comprise about 75% of the population, with the remainder split between Christians, Alawites, Druze and Ismailis. Official Syrian censuses don’t cover religion or ethnicity, making it difficult to gain an accurate break-down of society….