As persecution increases, your family needs your support to keep faith and hope alive
Printable sheet with key facts, figures, information and prayer points. Useful for your church noticeboard or prayer group.
Leader: President Fuad Masum
Population: 37.5 million (250,000 Christians)
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Parliamentary democracy
World Watch List Rank: 2
Source of Persecution: Islamic extremism
There has been a church in Iraq for 2,000 years, but today it's on the verge of extinction.
Thousands of Christians were forced from their homes in 2014 to escape the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) - remaining in IS-controlled territory as a Christian is effectively a death warrant. Christians also face abduction, attack and sexual abuse at the hands of extremists. Even in parts of Iraq free of IS, the law is based on Sharia (Islamic law) and forbids Muslims from leaving Islam; Muslim-background believers often hide their faith.
- Thank God for Open Doors partners and local churches in Iraq who are supporting displaced Christians - ask for continuing provision and strength for these refugees and those who serve them
- For protection for women and girls - IS gives its fighters permission to rape women they capture
- For courage for believers from Muslim backgrounds to keep following Jesus, despite the pressure they may face from their families and communities.
Open Doors in Action:
Open Doors has been working with local partners and churches in Iraq for over 20 years to support the church through:
- Providing trauma training and biblical training for church leaders and Muslim-background believers
- Crisis relief - Open Doors partners are currently providing around 15,000 families with relief aid
- Socio-economic development projects such as microloans for displaced people
- Distributing Bibles and Christian literature and supporting Kurdish translations
Listen to Farouk Hammo
Iraqi church leader Farrouk Hammo talks about trusting God for the impossible. Recorded at the Greatest Adventure, the Open Doors UK 60th anniversary celebration in November 2015.