Iraqi Arab in Netherlands

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Iraqis began to flee to the Netherlands 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, especially Christians and Sunni Muslims. Others have had to flee because of persecution from rival clans.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Like other refugees in the Netherlands, the Iraqi Arabs are struggling with learning a new language, getting situated with a home and finding work. They live in a land where there is tremendous temptations, which is likely to cause other problems. Most likely, they put "Christians" in the same category as those who want prostitution and drugs to be legal. Most of the Iraqi Arabs in the Netherlands are young men. A little over half of them are married, which will lead to their wives and children joining them at some time. These men often have a good education and some degree of wealth, but they are often unemployed. Socially, Iraqi Arabs are not as likely to learn Dutch as they need to in order to fit in. They don't usually get involved with social and political activities. Yet those that are willing to integrate tend to make Dutch friends and find social acceptance. There is a surprisingly high number of Iraqis who marry Dutch people.

Iraq is in turmoil. This offers both obstacles and opportunities for Iraqi Arabs to learn more fully of who Jesus truly is, but that will require believers to faithfully obey the Lord.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Islam has greatly influenced the lives of Iraqi Arabs. Most are either Sunni or Shia Muslim. The Shias are allied with their religious counterparts over the border in Iran. They are in the category of the "Twelvers," meaning they follow 12 imams (teachers), the 12th being Mohammad ibn al-Hasan, whom they believe will someday return to bring peace and justice to the world. Shia Muslims also stress victimhood and martyrdom, and they commemorate events where their leaders were killed. The latter might be a possible bridge to the death of Christ on the cross. There are also some traditional Christians among the Iraqi Arabs in the Netherlands.

What Are Their Needs?

Iraqi Arabs in the Netherlands need job training and help getting their visas in order. Believers who know how to deal with government agencies and landlords can help them get settled. Since they are in a country with freedom of religion, this is an excellent time for someone to take the life-changing gospel to these Muslims.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to direct Iraqi Arabs in his ways as they settle in the Netherlands.
Pray for Iraqi Arabs in the Netherlands to know God as their provider and lean on him.
Pray for a movement to Christ that cannot be stopped.
Pray for Iraqi Arab communities to become open to the influence of Jesus Christ in their lives.

Scripture Prayers for the Arab, Iraqi in Netherlands.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Arab, Iraqi
People Name in Country Arab, Iraqi
Natural Name Iraqi Arab
Pronunciation ee-RAH-kee AE-rub
Alternate Names Arab, Mesopotamian Speakers; Arab-Mesopotamian; Iraqi Arab; Iraqi Arabs; Mesopotamian Spoken; North Iraqi Arab
Population this Country 68,000
Population all Countries 21,994,000
Total Countries 24
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 12247
ROP3 Code 104056
ROP25 Code 300404
ROP25 Name Arab, Iraqi
Country Netherlands
Region Europe, Western
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Netherlands
Region Europe, Western
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.20 %)
1.60 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
95.40 %
1.00 %
Other / Small
2.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Arabic, Mesopotamian (68,000 speakers)
Language Code acm   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Arabic, Mesopotamian (68,000 speakers)
Language Code acm   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Arabic, Mesopotamian
Photo Source Christiaan Briggs - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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