April 12, 2022

War and Instability Mar Iraq

The cradle of civilization. Mesopotamia. The Babylonian Empire. The country we know as Iraq, located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, has a long and distinguished history.

More recently, the 40 million people who call Iraq home have experienced wars and rumors of wars that have left their beautiful country reeling. Political instability leaves many longing for peace, social stability, and economic security.

The instability, social tensions, and Islamic repression against other faiths present major problems for mission agencies, which have difficulty keeping long-term workers in the country.

Still, reports say many Iraqi Muslims have professed faith in Jesus Christ despite these obstacles. Many have encountered the Gospel and found Jesus via the Internet, radio, and meeting some of the country’s few Christians. Others say they have also seen His power through miracles, answers to prayers in Jesus’ name, and dreams and visions.

Islam is Iraq’s dominant religion, with Muslims making up 99 percent of its population, half Sunni and half Shia. Joshua Project estimates that Iraq’s Arab population is just under one percent Christian (0.7 percent Catholic and 0.2 percent evangelical).

Across the country, conditions are not uniform but vary by region. For example, northern Iraq is dominated by the stateless Kurds. Arabs, Sunnis, Shias, Islamic extremists, and young secularists jostle for power and position in other areas. 

Some of Iraq’s churches remain, but many have closed due to persecution following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Thousands of Iraqis have fled the chaos and violence of their homeland, with some seeking shelter in bordering countries and others crossing the globe to take up new lives in cities across the United States, Canada, and other Western countries.

Pray for peace, political stability, and robust economic recovery in Iraq, which continues to recover from war and current sectarian troubles.

  • Pray for the safety and well-being of Iraqi believers as they evangelize and minister.
  • Pray that church planting efforts in Iraq thrive, creating a Gospel ripple that extends to Arabs worldwide.

 

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