Date: April 14, 2018 01:53AM
Damascus in particular was mostly Christian until Muslim times.
Muhammad's first indirect interaction with the people of Damascus was when he sent Shiya bin Wahab to Haris bin Ghasanni, the king of Damascus. In his letter, Muhammad stated: "Peace be upon him who follows true guidance. Be informed that my religion shall prevail everywhere. You should accept Islam, and whatever under your command shall remain yours."
While the Muslims administered the city, the population of Damascus remained mostly Christian—Eastern Orthodox and Monophysite—with a growing community of Muslims from Mecca, Medina, and the Syrian Desert.
The governor assigned to the city which had been chosen as the capital of Islamic Syria was Mu'awiya I. After the death of Caliph Ali in 661, Mu'awiya was chosen as the caliph of the expanding Islamic empire. Because of the vast amounts of assets his clan, the Umayyads, owned in the city and because of its traditional economic and social links with the Hijaz as well as the Christian Arab tribes of the region, Mu'awiya established Damascus as the capital of the entire Caliphate.
With the ascension of Caliph Abd al-Malik in 685, an Islamic coinage system was introduced and all of the surplus revenue of the Caliphate's provinces were forwarded to the treasury of Damascus.
Arabic was also established as the official language, giving the Muslim minority of the city an advantage over the Aramaic-speaking Christians in administrative affairs. It is critical to note that, at the time Damascus was conquered by the Muslims, the majority of Arabs were either pagans or Christians.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascus
Important Marian church in Damascus. Arabic-speaking Syrian Catholics utilizing the Byzantine rite. Don't be surprised if this church doesn't last much longer with all the chaos going on:
The Holy Cross Cathedral ... also called Greek-Melkite Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition of Our Lady is the Catholic cathedral of Melkite Greek Church in the city of Damascus, the capital of Syria.
It is the seat of the Melkite Archieparchia of Damascus (Latin: Archieparchia Damascena Graecorum Melkitarum) dependent on the Melkite Patriarchate of Antioch which includes about 150,000 baptized and twenty parishes with fifty priests. Its faithful, assigned from the 18th century to the Holy See in Rome, employs the Arabic language and the Byzantine rite.
The Archbishop Vicar (or Eparca) since 2006 is Bishop Joseph Absi, former Superior General of the Society of Missionaries of St. Paul. The cathedral is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin, an event that describes the Catholic belief about the assumption of Mary without going through death.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_the_Dormition_of_Our_Lady,_Damascus