The Sunni Arab minority dominates other ethnic groups. All claim higher statistics for their own group for political advantage.

Arabs 70.2%
Shi’a Arab (in South) 11 million
Sunni Arab (in Centre) 5 million

Bedouin 110,000
Madan (Marsh Arabs) 50,000.


Sorani 2.24 million
Kurmanji 1.7 million
Central Kurds 527,000
Yazidi 100,000
Luri 80,000

Turkmen 1,260,000
Azeri 148,000
Turks 26,000.

Christian minorities

Assyrian 500,000
Armenian 90,000


Persian 290,000
Gypsy 167,000
Circassian 20,000


Official languages
Arabic; Kurdish in the KAR


During the reign of Saddam Hussein Pan-Arab socialism rather than Islam was the ideology. Religious minorities were allowed if they demonstrated political loyalty.

In recent years other faiths, including Christianity have had increasing freedom for worship and witness but still suffer from discrimination. Iran is listed as the 38th nation on the “religious persecution index.”

Religion type:                                     % of population        Approx number

Muslim                                                      96.85                         22,386.765
Christian                                                   1.55                           358,281
Other                                                         1.10                           254,264
Non-Religious                                          0.50                           115,574


Prayer Needs

  1. Pray for Christians still living in Iraq, for a restoration of their biblical heritage, for “Bible Clubs” that meet to study Scripture
  2. Pray for leadership for the church in Iraq
  3. Pray for the unreached people living in Iraq
  4. Pray for Christian ministries working inside Iraq


Area: 438,317 square kilometers

Fertile plains of the Tigris and Euphrates, high mountains to the north and Syrian desert in southwest…site of the ancient Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian empires.

Major Cities:

Baghdad – capital                                                                 4,850,000

Mosul                                                                                      664,000

Irbil (Kurdish Autonomous Region – KAR)                        800,000


Oil-based economy – since Genesis 11! In the past most of the profits have been used to industrialize and build a powerful army. War with Iran halted economic development. The Gulf War and subsequent decade of United Nations sanctions have devastated the economy and impoverished the ordinary people.