Sunni account for 74% of the population, while 13% are Shia (Alawite, Twelvers, and Ismailis combined), 10% Christian (the majority Antiochian Orthodox, the rest include Greek Catholic, Assyrian Church of the East, Armenian Orthodox, Protestants and other denominations), and 3% Druze.
President Bashar Al-Assad's family is Alawite and Alawites dominate the government of Syria and hold key military positions.
Christians (2.5 million), a sizable number of which are found among Syria's population of Palestinian refugees, are divided into several groups. Chalcedonian Antiochian Orthodox make up 45% of the Christian population; the Catholics (Melkite, Armenian Catholic, Syriac Catholic, Maronite, Chaldean Catholic and Latin) make up 16%; the Syriac Orthodox Church 27%, the Armenian Apostolic Church 8%, Assyrian Church of the East and several smaller Christian denominations account the remainder. Many Christian monasteries also exist. Many Christian Syrians belong to a high socio-economic class