Christmas in Syria
Christians make up just under 10 percent of the population of the Middle Eastern nation of Syria. Most are Eastern Christians, that is, Christians whose traditions of worship developed in the Middle East, north Africa, and eastern Europe. Among the many denominations represented in Syria are the Syrian, Greek, and Armenian Orthodox churches, the Maronite Church, the Assyrian (or Nestorian) Church, the Syrian Catholic Church, and the Melchite (or Greek Catholic) Church. Many Eastern Christians fast for some or all of Advent, a period of spiritual preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas time. Eastern Christians fast by avoiding meat, dairy products, fish, and eggs.