WORLD WATCH LIST

Iraq

#14

In a country plagued by conflict, Christians face persecution from all sides.

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“In this crisis, we are again reminded how much we need the Lord’s salvation.”

– Father Ammar, a church leader from Iraq

Country
Profile

Region
Middle East
Sources of persecution
Islamic Oppression
Population
42,612,000
Christian population
166,000
Religions
Islam
Leader
President Barham Salih
Score
78
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What Does Persecution Look Like?

Despite the Islamic State losing territory, Iraq remains plagued by conflict. This continues to gravely affect the country’s minority Christian population. In May 2021, Christian villages were evacuated after Turkish bombings.

Christians also experience persecution from non-Christian leaders and government authorities. In some regions, Christians avoid displaying the cross as it can lead to harassment or discrimination at checkpoints, universities, and workplaces. Blasphemy laws are also used against anyone suspected of evangelising to Muslims.

Street scene in Iraq

Who Is Most Vulnerable To Persecution?

Christians who come from a Muslim background in Iraq experience the most pressure from their families. They often keep their faith a secret, as they risk being threatened by family members, clan leaders, and their local community. New Christians risk losing their inheritance and the right or means to marry.

Most Christians in Iraq live in the north of the country, in Kurdistan. Few Christians are left in Baghdad and Basra where the situation is particularly difficult.

Pray for Iraq

– Pray for peace and stability so that displaced Christians can return to their homes.

– Pray that the Iraqi government will protect the rights of Christians and other religious minorities.

– Pray for the protection of all believers, that each one will be strengthened and encouraged in their faith.

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