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Man's hands holding a gospel tract
Those caught evangelizing could face blasphemy charges.
Photo: VOMC

A recent report from the American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East highlights the desperate circumstances facing many Iraqi Christians – both those residing in their country as well as those living as refugees. Over the past two decades, 80 percent of the nation's Christians, which amounts to over one million people, have left the country and chosen not to return.

Iraqi Christians presently living as refugees are often barred from working because of their refugee status, and their children are severely lacking in educational opportunities. Additionally, believers remaining in the country are seriously affected by persecution from their fellow Iraqis, as well as those holding positions of governing authority.

In northern Iraq, the Kurdish people face bombing attacks as Turkish forces endeavour to suppress perceived nationalist interests in Kurdistan; yet another example of how Christians residing in a war-torn region are caught in the midst of the cross-fighting. In central and southern Iraq, Christians frequently face harassment and discrimination in their workplaces, universities and governmental institutions. Those suspected of conducting any means of evangelistic outreach to Muslims can be subjected to blasphemy charges.

To learn more about the persecution of Christians in Iraq, read previously posted reports, and/or view video documentaries addressing specific situations, go to our country report.

Pray that Iraqi believers will be so endued with God's presence in their lives that they will shine as 'lights of the world' (Matthew 5:14), whether living within their home country or elsewhere as refugees. May those presently facing persecution also find strength and comfort through the ministry of His Holy Spirit. Finally, pray that the offensive of Türkiye's armed forces (formerly known as Turkey) against the Kurds will subside, bringing peace to this war-torn region as well.