Arab, Iraqi in Denmark

Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Arab, Iraqi
Country: Denmark
10/40 Window: No
Population: 35,000
World Population: 21,994,000
Primary Language: Arabic, Mesopotamian
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 1.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.20 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Arab, Levant
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

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: the Iraqi, Jordanian, Palestinian, Arabic Jewish, Chaldean and Syrian Arabs.

Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula are 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 the 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.

Because of an ongoing civil war and the chaos it caused, Iraqi Arabs have migrated to many parts of the world for safety and work. They are in North America and Arab countries with strong economies. Others are in Western European countries with strong economies like Denmark.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most diaspora Arabs now identify by nation rather than by tribe. Though they constitute the largest Arab ethnic group in the country, the experiences of Iraqi Arabs in Denmark are less than stellar. Immersion into Western culture, including Western education and societal pressure has produced much tension for the Iraqi Arab Diaspora, and their traditional culture and way of life has changed greatly. Even traditional religious practices have at times been laid by the wayside to accommodate the assimilation of local lifestyles. Beyond the clash of cultures, however, lies greater difficulty, as the immigrants find themselves unwelcome in their new home. The culture of Denmark is considered progressive, though it resembles a finely run machine with every member of society playing their part to contribute to everything that the nation is and does. High wages and generous benefits for all come with the requirements that all follow the rules, adopt the national mindset and culture, and work hard to pour into the nation's coffers. The influx of tens of thousands of immigrants with a culture of their own has caused more than a slight disruption to the system, and many of the Danes are highly concerned about the economic and cultural future of their country. Differences between the cultures have led to clashes ranging from awkwardness at inadvertent breaking of social norms, through active shunning, to violence and assault. Assimilation is difficult for Iraqi who have little in common with their European neighbors.

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

What Are Their Beliefs?

It was early in the seventh century that Mohammed first preached the tenets of Islam to the Arabs. His successors quickly spread the word of Allah far and wide. Wherever Arabs went, they left elements of their Arab culture, including their Islamic religion. The historical link between Arabs and the Islamic religion is still very strong. Iraqi Arabs in Denmark can be either Sunni or Shia Muslims. There are traditional Iraqi Christians who came to Denmark to escape persecution.

What Are Their Needs?

Iraqi Muslims in Denmark need to know that they are loved and accepted by the God of heaven despite the rejection by some. They need to find acceptance and aid as they labor to assimilate into a foreign country with a foreign worldview.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to reach out and share the love of Christ with them.
Pray that God will raise up faithful intercessors who will stand in the gap for the Iraqi Arabs.
Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the small number of Arabs who have decided to follow Christ in Europe.
Ask the Holy Spirit to burden the hearts of Danish followers of Christ to minister to the Iraqi Arabs with genuine love and hospitality.
Ask the Lord to raise up strong movement to Christ among the Arabs in Denmark.

Text Source:   Joshua Project