Area: 438,317 sq km
Fertile plains of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers; high mountains to the north and Syrian desert in southwest. Site of the ancient Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian Empires.
Population: 31,466,698 Annual Growth: 2.19%
Official language: Arabic; Kurdish Languages: 26 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
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The Church is characterized by fragmentation denominationally, ethnically and politically, despite the great opposition all Christians face. The majority are in the Catholic-linked Chaldean Church, but others are part of the Assyrian Church of the East, Syriac Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Protestant denominations or even a Muslim-background believers network. Some in the historic denominations are being impacted by revival; others resent and oppose what they perceive to be aggressive proselytism and a money-spinning focus of the newer Protestant groups. Outreach to the Muslim majority remains a terrifying prospect to most, although compassionate ministry by some Christians to all in need sees many Muslims profoundly touched. Pray for unity among believers, with a Christ-centred front that responds to hatred and persecution with boldness, forgiveness and love.
Evangelicals are growing at an unprecedented rate. Many are coming from Muslim and even extremist backgrounds, touched by the peace, love and hope Christ offers. They are Arab and Kurd, in the north and south, within Iraq and scattered abroad. However, they come nowhere near offsetting the loss endured by Christianity as a result of the flight of the ancient confessions from Iraq. Pray for these believers, for their witness to non-Christians and for their faith to endure despite many difficulties.
For an additional 9 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Iraq.