The Most Famous

RELIGIOUS FIGURES from Syria

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This page contains a list of the greatest Syrian Religious Figures. The pantheon dataset contains 2,272 Religious Figures, 21 of which were born in Syria. This makes Syria the birth place of the 18th most number of Religious Figures behind Japan and Russia.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Syrian Religious Figures of all time. This list of famous Syrian Religious Figures is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Syrian Religious Figures.

Photo of Pope Anicetus

1. Pope Anicetus (70 - 168)

With an HPI of 77.96, Pope Anicetus is the most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 70 different languages on wikipedia.

Pope Anicetus was the bishop of Rome from c. 157 to his death in April 168. According to the Annuario Pontificio, the start of his papacy may have been 153. Anicetus actively opposed Gnosticism and Marcionism. He welcomed Polycarp of Smyrna to Rome to discuss the controversy over the date for the celebration of Easter.

Photo of Pope Gregory III

2. Pope Gregory III (700 - 741)

With an HPI of 76.37, Pope Gregory III is the 2nd most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 73 different languages.

Pope Gregory III (Latin: Gregorius III; died 28 November 741) was the bishop of Rome from 11 February 731 to his death. His pontificate, like that of his predecessor, was disturbed by Byzantine iconoclasm and the advance of the Lombards, in which he invoked the intervention of Charles Martel, although ultimately in vain. He was the last pope to seek the consent of the Byzantine exarch of Ravenna for his election.

Photo of John Climacus

3. John Climacus (579 - 649)

With an HPI of 76.05, John Climacus is the 3rd most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

John Climacus (Greek: Ἰωάννης τῆς Κλίμακος; Latin: Ioannes Climacus), also known as John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus and John Sinaites, was a 6th-7th-century Christian monk at the monastery on Mount Sinai. He is revered as a saint by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches.

Photo of Pope Sisinnius

4. Pope Sisinnius (650 - 708)

With an HPI of 74.81, Pope Sisinnius is the 4th most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 63 different languages.

Pope Sisinnius (c. 650 – 4 February 708) was the bishop of Rome from 15 January 708 to his death.Sisinnius was Syrian by birth, and his father's name was John. The paucity of donations to the papacy during his reign (42 pounds of gold and 310 pounds of silver, a fraction of the personal donations of other contemporary pontiffs) indicate that he was probably not from the aristocracy.Sisinnius was selected as pope during the period of Byzantine domination, succeeding John VII after a vacancy of three months. He was consecrated around 15 January 708. His pontificate lasted just twenty days. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "although he was so afflicted with gout that he was unable even to feed himself, he is nevertheless said to have been a man of strong character, and to have been able to take thought for the good of the city". Among his few acts as pope was the consecration of a bishop for Corsica. He also ordered "that lime be burned in order to restore portions" of the walls of Rome. The restoration of the walls planned by Sisinnius was eventually carried out by Gregory II.Sisinnius was buried in Old St. Peter's Basilica. He was succeeded less than two months later by another Syrian, Constantine, who was probably his brother.

Photo of Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya

5. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (1292 - 1350)

With an HPI of 72.53, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya is the 5th most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Shams al-Dīn Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr ibn Ayyūb al-Zurʿī l-Dimashqī l-Ḥanbalī (29 January 1292–15 September 1350 CE / 691 AH–751 AH), commonly known as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya ("The son of the principal of [the school of] Jawziyyah") or Ibn al-Qayyim ("Son of the principal"; ابن قيم الجوزية) for short, or reverentially as Imam Ibn al-Qayyim in Sunni tradition, was an important medieval Islamic jurisconsult, theologian, and spiritual writer. Belonging to the Hanbali school of orthodox Sunni jurisprudence, of which he is regarded as "one of the most important thinkers," Ibn al-Qayyim is today best remembered as the foremost disciple and student of the controversial fourteenth-century Sunni theologian Ibn Taymiyyah, with whom he was imprisoned in 1326 for dissenting against established tradition during Ibn Taymiyyah's famous incarceration in the Citadel of Damascus.Of humble origin, Ibn al-Qayyim's father was the principal (qayyim) of the School of Jawziyya, which also served as a court of law for the Hanbali judge of Damascus during the time period. Ibn al-Qayyim went on to become a prolific scholar, producing a rich corpus of "doctrinal and literary" works. As a result, numerous important Muslim scholars of the Mamluk period were among Ibn al-Qayyim's students or, at least, greatly influenced by him, including, amongst others, the Shafi historian Ibn Kathir (d. 774/1373), the Hanbali hadith scholar Ibn Rajab (d. 795/1397), and the Shafi polymath Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (d. 852/1449). In the present day, Ibn al-Qayyim's name has become a controversial one in certain quarters of the Islamic world due to his popularity amongst many adherents of the Sunni movements of Salafism and Wahhabism, who see in his criticisms of such widespread orthodox Sunni practices of the medieval period as the veneration of saints and the veneration of their graves and relics a classical precursor to their own perspective.

Photo of Émile Benveniste

6. Émile Benveniste (1902 - 1976)

With an HPI of 71.82, Émile Benveniste is the 6th most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.

Émile Benveniste (French: [bɛ̃venist]; 27 May 1902 – 3 October 1976) was a French structural linguist and semiotician. He is best known for his work on Indo-European languages and his critical reformulation of the linguistic paradigm established by Ferdinand de Saussure.

Photo of Maron

7. Maron (301 - 410)

With an HPI of 70.70, Maron is the 7th most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Maron, also called Maroun or Maro, (Syriac: ܡܪܘܢ‎, Mārūn; Arabic: مارون‎; Latin: Maron; Greek: Μάρων) was a 4th-century Syriac Christian hermit monk in the Taurus Mountains whose followers, after his death, founded a religious Christian movement that became known as the Syriac Maronite Church, in full communion with the Holy See and the Catholic Church. The religious community which grew from this movement are the modern Maronites. Saint Maron is often portrayed in a black monastic habit with a hanging stole, accompanied by a long crosier staffed by a globe surmounted with a cross. His feast day in the Maronite Church is February 9.

Photo of Sophronius of Jerusalem

8. Sophronius of Jerusalem (560 - 638)

With an HPI of 70.39, Sophronius of Jerusalem is the 8th most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.

For other people of the same name, see Sophronius (disambiguation).Sophronius (c. 560 – March 11, 638; Greek: Σωφρόνιος, Arabic: صفرونيوس‎), called Sophronius the Sophist, was the Patriarch of Jerusalem from 634 until his death. He is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches. Before rising to the primacy of the see of Jerusalem, he was a monk and theologian who was the chief protagonist for orthodox teaching in the doctrinal controversy on the essential nature of Jesus and his volitional acts.

Photo of Apollinaris of Laodicea

9. Apollinaris of Laodicea (310 - 390)

With an HPI of 70.07, Apollinaris of Laodicea is the 9th most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Apollinaris the Younger, also known as Apollinaris of Laodicea, (died 382) was a bishop of Laodicea in Syria. He is best known, however, as a noted opponent of Arianism. Apollinaris's eagerness to emphasize the deity of Jesus and the unity of his person led him so far as to deny the existence of a rational human soul in Christ's human nature. This view came to be called Apollinarism. It was condemned by the First Council of Constantinople in 381.

Photo of Ananias of Damascus

10. Ananias of Damascus (100 - 100)

With an HPI of 69.73, Ananias of Damascus is the 10th most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Ananias ( AN-ə-NY-əs; Ancient Greek: Ἀνανίας, same as Hebrew חנניה, Hananiah, "favoured of the LORD") was a disciple of Jesus at Damascus mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, which describes how he was sent by Jesus to restore the sight of Saul of Tarsus (who later was called Paul the Apostle) and provide him with additional instruction in the way of the Lord.

Pantheon has 21 people classified as religious figures born between 70 and 1977. Of these 21, 5 (23.81%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living religious figures include Gregory III Laham, John X of Antioch, and Ignatius Joseph III Yonan. The most famous deceased religious figures include Pope Anicetus, Pope Gregory III, and John Climacus. As of October 2020, 1 new religious figures have been added to Pantheon including Ibn Asakir.

Living Religious Figures

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Deceased Religious Figures

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Newly Added Religious Figures (2020)

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Which Religious Figures were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 5 most globally memorable Religious Figures since 1700.