Scripture Reference: Acts 9:1-25 
Christianity came to Syria in apostolic times. There were already Christians in Damascus, when St. Paul (then Saul of Tarsus) underwent conversion on his way there to arrest adherents of the new Faith. St. Paul and St. Peter both taught at Antioch in Syria, where the Church first opened her doors to the Gentiles. The city of Edessa was another important center in the early days of the Church. In 638 Syria was conquered by Arab Muslims, who made Damascus the capital. In the schism of 1054, the majority of Christians favored the Orthodox side. Catholicism became dominant during the Crusader period (1100-1268), when part of Syria was included in the western Kingdom of Jerusalem, but it was lost again to Saladin of Egypt. The Ottoman Turks took over in 1516, and remained in control till the end of WWII. The Catholic minority of 2% of the population is made up of Armenians, Chaldeans, and Greek-Melkites in communion with Rome.
 

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