Preparations for Pascha in Syria
's Christian community may be somewhat subdued this year, given the recent unrest in the country. This year, Palm Sunday and Syrian Independence Day took place at the same time.
From the article:
In contrast, this year's celebrations were limited to the confines of the church. The liturgy – central to Orthodox spirituality – was shorter. The sermon included an official address on the subject of unity and security of the nation, a subject of added relevance on Syrian Independence Day.