Arab, Iraqi in France

Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Arab, Iraqi
Country: France
10/40 Window: No
Population: 32,000
World Population: 21,994,000
Primary Language: Arabic, Mesopotamian
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 2.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.30 %
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

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. There are linguistic differences between each of these Arabic speaking people.
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. Iraqi Arabs in France gravitate to urban centers like Paris and Marseilles for work.
There are conflicting reports about whether the Iraqis in France are recent refugees or if they have been there for over a generation. Iraqis are less prominent in France than other Arabic speaking people.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Iraq is in a constant state of 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 faithfully obey the Lord.
Iraqi Arabs are able to start new lives, but first they must find jobs and become fluent in the French language. Women have far more opportunities in France than they would have in Iraq, and families are going through changes. Iraqi Arab Muslims are in a situation where their spiritual beliefs are challenged by the secular environment of France. Children are not as committed to their families in France as they are in any Arab country. Parents have far less say regarding who their children marry than they would have in Iraq. Commonly, Arab communities associate with other Arabs rather than having friendly contact with the French majority.

What Are Their Beliefs?

A little over half of the Iraqi Arabs are Shia Muslims, and most of the rest of them are Sunni Muslims. There is a small minority that adheres to traditional forms of Christianity. 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. They need someone to reach these people who come looking for freedom.

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 flourish among Iraqi Arabs in Europe.

Text Source:   Joshua Project