Deir Ali

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Deir Ali
دير علي
Deir Ali is located in Syria
Deir Ali
Deir Ali
Coordinates: 33°17′1″N 36°18′9″E / 33.28361°N 36.30250°E / 33.28361; 36.30250
Country Syria
GovernorateRif Dimashq
DistrictMarkaz Rif Dimashq
 (2004 census)[1]
 • Total4,368
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)

Deir Ali (Arabic: دير علي) is a small town in southern Syria, administratively part of the Rif Dimashq Governorate. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, Deir Ali had a population of 4,368 in the 2004 census.[1] Its inhabitants are predominantly members of the Druze community.[2]


The town was historically a village known as Lebaba, and contains the archaeological remains of a Marcionite church. These include an inscription dated to 318 CE, which is the oldest known surviving inscribed reference, anywhere, to Jesus:

The meeting-house of the Marcionites, in the village of Lebaba, of the Lord and Saviour Jesus the Good -Erected by the forethought of Paul a presbyter, in the year 630 Seleucid era[3] This gained the attention of the First Bible Network (FBN.)[4]

In 1838, Eli Smith noted Deir Ali's population as being Druze.[5]

The Arab Gas Pipeline passes through the area and supplies gas to a modern power station (estimated cost 250 million euros) in the town; the pipeline junction at the power station links the power grids of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b General Census of Population and Housing 2004. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Rif Dimashq Governorate. (in Arabic)
  2. ^ Firro, 1992, p. 34.
  3. ^ Philippe Le Bas and William Henry Waddington, Greek Inscriptions grecques et latines recueillies en Grèce et en Asie Mineure (1870), volume 3, inscription 2558. Minor reference in Gerhard Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, under Synagogue. Also obliquely referenced in the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Marcionites, using Le Bas and Waddington as a reference
  4. ^ The Oldest Inscription Bearing Jesus' Name (and why you never heard of it), 2021-11-04, retrieved 2022-02-18
  5. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, 2nd appendix, p. 149
  6. ^ "Al-Ahram Weekly | Egypt | Newsreel". Archived from the original on 2007-08-12. Retrieved 2009-05-03.