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|Arab, North Iraqi
|Arabic, North Mesopotamian
|Online Audio NT:
Iraqis began to flee to Europe in the 1990s with the first Gulf War. For the next 20 years, that number increased greatly as their country destabilized and new governments began to marginalize those from other religious communities. Others have had to flee because of persecution from rival clans. Most of the Iraqi refugees in Greece are either from Kirkuk or Baghdad.
Greece is a "border" state where refugees from the Middle East often go, seeking a peaceful place to settle. There are few Iraqis who stay in Greece, largely because that country takes in very few refugees. The Greek economy is weak by European standards, and for that reason, they cannot afford to take in refugees. Iraqis that arrive in Greece via Turkey are often sent back to Iraq. As would be expected, the few Iraqis who are allowed to stay are usually better educated and wealthy than most other Iraqis. They are often young, single men, though this is not always the case. They are often either Sunni Muslim or Assyrian Christians.
The Iraqis who settle in Greece are mostly Sunni Muslims, since they are often marginalized by Iraq's Shia majority. Sunni Muslims are more orthodox than their Shia counterparts, and there is a long history of hostility between the two, especially in Iraq. Still the two major "denominations" of Islam agree on the importance of the Five Pillars of Islam. There is also a sizable number of Assyrian Christians who have fled Muslim Iraq because of religious persecution. They feel more at home in a land like Greece where others are part of a traditional Christian community.
Iraqis in Greece need to find a peaceful land where they can earn an honest living. They also need to be confronted with the claims of the gospel, which offers forgiveness for those who are willing to approach the Lord on his terms.
Pray for the Lord to help Iraqi Arabs to make an honest living in Greece and other countries of Europe. Pray for a revival among Greek Orthodox believers that will lead them to share Christ with Iraqi Muslims. Pray for spiritual hunger among Iraqi Muslims. Pray for a movement to Christ among Muslim Iraqi Arabs in Greece.