In its more than forty years in power, the Syrian regime has learned to play off the various sectarian groups against each other in order to maintain its hegemony. With the collapse of social, economic and political order and stability, sectarian identities aretoday assuming an unprecedented importance while civil war and regional power struggles are changing the realities on the ground. After decades of enforced silence on the topic, discourses on sectarianism or religious and ethnic “minorities” are now subject of many heated debates.
In this publication, five Syrian researchers describe how members of different religious communities in Syria experienced the years 2011 to 2014. The aim of the articles is to portray a more subtle, differentiated picture of the current situation of the different sectarian groups in Syria as a counterpoint to that portraying them as unified blocks supporting either the regime or the opposition.