Introduction / History The Iraqis are the second biggest minority peoples group living in Sweden after the Swedish Finns. The group has at least doubled since 2002 because of the war in Iraq causing them to leave their country and become refugees.
They live mainly in Stockholm, Malmo and Sodertalje. They speak Iraqi Arabic, Kurdish, Swedish, Neo Aramaic, Mandaic and Turkmen.
Though most have come to Sweden because of the Iraq war of this century, many came to Sweden in the last twenty years of the last century because of the Iran-Iraq war. Many Christians have come to live in Sweden because of persecution in Iraq since 2003. Sweden takes in more than half of the Iraqi asylum seekers wanting to live in Europe.
In 2006, Sweden allowed more protection to Iraqis than all the other EU countries put together. The generosity of Sweden meant many more Iraqis applying to live in Sweden. Because of so many of them coming to live in Sweden they are having to live in poor conditions. Many of the new Iraqi migrants are having to live in very crowded apartments, sometimes with as many as fifteen people.
Maybe because of all the distress, the Iraqi Christians could find the non-Iraqi Christians receptive to the Gospel message.
What are their beliefs? They are mainly Muslims, some Sunni, some Shia. Others follow Syriac Christianity. They have one of the largest Mandaean people groups in the world and they are followers of Mandaeism, a Gnostic religion.