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Local Missionaries in Iraq

Map of Iraq


40.05 million

Evangelical population:


People groups:


Unreached people groups:


10:40 window
Located in the 10/40 Window


Rocked by political unrest due to high levels of corruption and unemployment, Iraq is also still trying to recover from destruction to homes and basic services infrastructure from the invasion by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists from 2014 to 2017. Many people remain displaced in the country that is 95.8 percent Muslim.

About 1.4 percent of the population practices ethnic religions, and 1.3 percent of Iraq’s people identify as Christian. Of those, 49 percent are Orthodox, 41.9 percent Roman Catholic, and 0.2 percent evangelical.

Iraq’s various ethnic groups include Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandaeans and Circassians. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.

Amid the unrest and disruption of lives, local missionaries are finding unprecedented opportunities to share the gospel among the internally displaced and refugees from Syria and other countries. Barely able to keep up with requests for Scripture, they need assistance to purchase Bibles and New Testaments. They distribute these in outreaches on the street, in home visits, as they travel, and as they distribute aid to refugees and the displaced, with demand especially high during Christmas season outreaches.

Evangelistic events geared toward children provide opportunities to share the gospel with their parents as well. Local missionaries need funding to train youth leaders and other leaders, as well as disciples who need to be equipped to share their faith and plant house churches. Some of these churches are forming in refugee camps for Syrians. Workers also need support to cover monthly living expenses.

Local missionaries put in long hours meeting the needs of food, clothing, baby formula and other relief items for the internally displaced and for refugees. A mobile medical clinic provides health care to people who would never have access to such help, with workers also praying with patients and sharing the hope of the gospel.

Sources: Joshua Project, Wikipedia

Iraqi woman sits on a concrete sidewalk pulling apart knitted scarf

How to Pray for Iraq

  • Pray that Muslims putting their faith in Christ will be protected from opposition and will find new community in Christian fellowship.
  • Pray for outreaches to Yazidis and Kurds and the growth of house churches planted in various outreaches.
  • Pray that resources will become available to meet local missionaries’ physical and spiritual needs amid the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More stories from Iraq

Teach New Believers Evangelism Techniques in Iraq

As the number of new believers increases, one native ministry has begun to organize trainings that teach about following Christ and obeying Scripture, as well as evangelism techniques. About 20 attendees at one of the recent training sessions live in areas under strict religious law and must serve the Lord and evangelize in total secrecy.

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Lift Up The Persecuted Church in Iraq

A widow and her two daughters became believers after they received a Bible, but they could not publicly express their faith because they lived in a camp alongside extremists. Ministry workers were able to move them to a different location where they can now freely live as Christians, and the children attend Bible study.

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Help Evangelize the Lost in Iraq

In the middle of a native ministry’s worship meeting for children, an Iranian refugee girl requested children’s Bible stories. After workers shared the stories, at the end of the meeting the girl asked them to pray for Jesus to enter her heart and save her.

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Two Iranian girls and one boy wearing formal clothes and dress for a Christmas ceremony

Enable Evangelistic Outreach in Iraq

People attending Christmas celebrations in Iraq are open to receiving Bibles and the gospel. At one meeting last year, an Iranian girl from a refugee family who asked for a children’s Bible later raised her hand for prayer to receive Christ. Workers invite children to Christmas parties in villages and camps, where the children receive gifts and hear the gospel, as do their parents.

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Support Gospel Outreach in Iraq

In evangelism training for Christians who were raised as Muslims, new believers from every province enjoyed fellowship as they learned how to share the Bible with Muslims. Native ministry workers also taught them ways for Christians of Muslim upbringing to meet the dangers of living in Islamic society in a way pleasing to the Lord.

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