Pray for Iraq

Learn about and pray for Iraq in just 5 minutes per week!

Receive one email per week for 13 weeks about Iraq’s history, geography, persecution profile, and largest unreached people groups.

Specific prayer points are included in each email.

Introduction

Iraq, historically rich as the “cradle of civilization,” has faced turmoil, oppression, and devastation in recent decades. Ancient wonders like the Ziggurat of Ur contrast with its modern image as a conflict-ridden battleground. Decades of violence, dictatorships, and international invasions have left lasting scars, while sectarian divisions and insurgency persist. Sectarian strife between Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds further fractures the nation. Terrorism, notably from the Islamic State, has caused immense suffering, with millions displaced and living in refugee camps. Poverty, instability, corruption, and terror attacks hinder Iraq’s progress.

Over 95% of Iraqis are Muslim, and religious minorities face severe persecution, yet amidst the darkness, a redemptive movement is unfolding. Despite challenges, unreached groups are encountering Christ’s love, and Muslims are turning to Jesus, offering hope in the midst of despair.

Read on to learn how you can pray for Iraq.

Iraqi man with men behind him
Iraqi family
map of Iraq in the Middle East

Fast Facts

Capital City: Baghdad

Population: 45 million (93% unreached)

People Groups: 36

Unreached People Groups: 26

Frontier People Groups: 12

10/40 Window: Yes

map of people groups in Iraq

Major People Groups: 46% Iraqi Arab; 20% North Iraqi Arab; 10% Northern Kurd (Kermanji); 6% Southern Kurd; 6% Azerbaijani (Azeri Turk)

Major Religions: Islam 98%

Language: Arabic, Kurdish

GDP Per Capita: $9,300

Literacy Rate: 86%

Did you know? Iraq has one of the world’s oldest known pieces of literature, the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Pray for the unreached people groups of Iraq

Even though it has a rich Biblical heritage, 98% of Iraq’s population live in an unreached people groups. Below are the 10 largest unreached people groups in Iraq:

 

Name Religion Population
1. Iraqi Arab Islam 17,152,000
2. North Iraqi Arab Islam 9,920,000
3. Central Kurd Islam 5,263,000
4. Behdini Kurd Islam 3,845,000
5. Middle-Eastern Turkmen Islam 2,864,000
6. Saudi Nadji Arab Islam 1,934,000
7. Afro-Iraqi Islam 1,000,000
8. Yazidi Islam 634,000
9. Persian Islam 537,000
10. Deaf Islam 341,000

 

Pray for Christians being persecuted

Iraq is ranked #18 on the 2023 World Watch List published by Open Doors.

Iraqi Christians experience ongoing harassment and persecution. Last year, dozens of Christians were physically abused, abducted or driven away, with homes and businesses confiscated.

In the north, huge numbers of Christians fled from so-called Islamic State (IS). Many have yet to return as bombing goes on. Violence has decreased, but Christians are far from safe and believers who’ve converted from Islam risk being shunned by their communities, or prosecuted under blasphemy laws.

 

World Watch List

You can learn about Christian persecution and pray for our brothers and sisters who being persecuted around the world by praying through the Open Doors’ World Watch List.

 

[God] has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

Paul

2 Corinthians 1:10-11

Pray for Iraq

 “Slow drip” your learning and prayers for  Iraq: its history, geography, persecution profile, and largest unreached people groups.