Pray for: Iraq

Flag for Iraq

Key Stats

Religion & Geography
Category Statistic
Continent: Asia
Capital: Baghdad
Population: 41,179,351
% Urban: 71.1 %
Population Under 15 Yrs: 38 %
Official Language: Arabic; Kurdish
Languages: 26
Literacy Rate: 79 %
HDI Ranking: 123 / 189
% Christian: 1.6 %
% Evangelical: 0.2 %
Largest Religion: Muslim
% Largest Religion: 95.9 %
People Groups: 36
Least Reached People Groups: 25
% Unevangelized: 59 %
Persecution Ranking: 11 / 50

Iraq

Title: Iraq

Tier: 1

Type: country

The emergence of Iraqi Arab evangelicals in recent years (now over 50,000) is an answer to prayer! Many of them come from Muslim and even extremist backgrounds, but they encountered Christ through evangelical witness, gospel radio, and especially through dreams and visions of Jesus. Pray for leaders for the churches. Many fled the country and others died, often targeted by Islamists. Many times the Christian widows of these leaders continue with the pastoral and discipleship work.

Iraq

Title: Iraq

Tier: 1

Type: country

Significant political changes began in 1991, and the country’s future remains uncertain. Pray for God to deliver this land from seemingly interminable upheaval!

  • War with the West brought greater autonomy for the Kurdish area, a representative government, and some reforms in the economy, education, and healthcare. But the US invasion led to a time of violence by Islamist militants, while Sunni and Shi’a groups turned on each other.
  • Many deep divisions run through Iraqi society (Kurds against Arabs, Shi’as against Sunnis, secular politicians against Islamist groups). Christians and other religious minorities lack true religious freedom. They face demands for bribes, kidnapping, destruction of their property, rape, and murder. Most Muslim political leaders want to see progress, but extremist groups continue to make the country unstable.
  • Sunni Muslim (Da’esh) fighters seized partial control of Iraqi territory in summer 2014, and announced an Islamic State (covering parts of Iraq and Syria). Their atrocities against opponents and other ethnic and religious groups (including Christians) forced millions to flee for their lives, and had brought further chaos to the regionWhile almost all of their territory has been retaken, their violent and brutal ideology remains a threat via the use of terrorist cells who are able to strike with little or no warning.

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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.