Quick Facts About Christianity in Iraq

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Here are a few brief facts about Christianity in Iraq:

  • Christianity has been in Iraq for 2000 years.1
  • The faith was brought to what is modern day Iraq by Jesus’ apostle, Thomas, in the 1st century A.D.2
  • In the past few decades the Christian population of Iraq has gone from about 1.5 million, to as few as 200,000.3
  • As of 2010 Christians accounted for half of the country’s refugees.4
  • Iraq’s Christians have diverse ethnic backgrounds and are of various denominations.
  • Christians in Iraq have faced numerous periods of persecution, long before the arrival of ISIS.
  • Iraqi Christians were treated as second class citizens under Ottoman rule.5
  • An intense period of persecution and massacres occurred from the 13th to 16th century after the Islamic conquest.6
  • Around 2010 young men and women were stopped by armed men and asked for their identity cards in cities such as Bagdad and Mosul. If their names indicated Christian origins, they were shot.7
  • ISIS can first be found in news articles claiming responsibilities for terror attacks in Iraq when they were known, as the Islamic State of Iraq in 2010.8

Sources:

[8] Christian areas targeted in deadly Baghdad attacks. (10 Nov, 2010). BBC News.

[2] Christianity in Iraq: Its Origins and Development to the Present Day. (2005).

[1] [4] [5] [6] [7] Iraqi Christians under fire. (3 April, 2010). The Telegraph.

[3] Iraqi crisis response. (2015). International Christian Concern.

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