Introduction / History The Iraqi Arabs descended from a people group cluster called the Levant Arabs. The Levant Arabs originally settled all over the Arabian Peninsula and later migrated to North Africa. They are spread from Israel to Kuwait and as far east as Iran. "Levant" is a broad term that includes several groups of Arabs: Iraqi, Jordanian, Palestinian, Chaldean, and Syrian Arabs.
Most scholars consider Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula to be the original Arabs. The Arabian culture was developed by tribes of nomads and villagers who lived in the Arabian Desert for many centuries. It was also from there that Arab migrations began, eventually leading to the expansion of the Arab world.
Modern day Iraq is the home of the ancient Sumerian, Assyrian, and Babylonian empires. Iraq was occupied by Britain during World War I. In 1932, Iraq gained its independence. Some have migrated to European countries like France and England since that time.
Where are they located? Iraqi Arabs in France gravitate to urban centers like Paris and Marseilles.
What are their lives like? There are conflicting reports about whether the Iraqis in France are recent refugees or if they have been there for over a generation.
What are their beliefs? A little over half of the Iraqi Arabs are Shi'ite Muslims, and most of the rest of them are Sunni Muslims. There is a small minority that adheres to traditional forms of Christianity.
Since 2003, France has absorbed more refugees from war in Iraq. At different times each of three different religious groups have had to flee for safety.
What are their needs? The Iraqis in France have mostly been there long enough that the "window of receptivity" is over. But there will be more Iraqi Arabs coming to Europe in the coming months and years.
Prayer Points * Pray that believers in Europe will lead Iraqis to Jesus Christ.
* Pray that Iraqi Arabs will read the Bible and be attracted to Jesus, realizing that he is the Christ.
* Pray for a disciple making movement to begin among Iraqi Arabs in Europe.