Arab, Iraqi in Lebanon

Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Arab, Iraqi
Country: Lebanon
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 20,000
World Population: 21,994,000
Primary Language: Arabic, Mesopotamian
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 1.60 %
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

A small number of Iraqi Arabs have been in Lebanon for decades; most of them were young men seeking to enhance their careers in Beirut. They began to arrive in much larger numbers in the 1990s, especially Shia Muslims who were fleeing the excesses of the Saddam Hussein regime. Others fled because of international sanctions after the 1991 Gulf War which harmed the Iraqi economy. After the second Gulf War in 2003, an even larger number of Iraqi Arabs fled for Lebanon, and these were more likely to include Sunni Muslims and Christians. Most Iraqi Arabs who are in Lebanon arrived after 2009. Lebanon was an attractive place to go because it was relatively easy to get there and they believed they had a better chance of being moved from Lebanon to a country with a stronger economy.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Well over half of the Iraqi Arabs in Lebanon arrived illegally, usually by being smuggled across the Syrian-Lebanese border. They cannot find legitimate work since they are there illegally, so the Iraqi Arabs tend towards the unofficial sector. Iraqis often depend on their children as a source of outside funds, so their children are with them, and these children attend school. They must adapt to a different form of Arabic in Lebanese classrooms.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Iraqi Arabs in Lebanon are most likely to be traditional Christians or more likely Shia Muslims. Both Sunnis and Shias agree that Allah is the one true God and that Mohammad was his messenger. They both practice the Five Pillars of Islam, but there are some major differences. The Shias believe that Mohammad's successor should be someone in his bloodline, namely Ali. The Sunnis believed a pious individual who would follow the Prophet's teachings was the right choice. Because some of their leaders have faced violent, martyr's death, Shias understand that a righteous man can be killed by the unrighteous. For this reason, Christ's death on a Roman cross isn't as foreign to them as it is to Sunnis. Only about 15 percent of the world's Muslims are Shia; most of the rest are Sunni.

What Are Their Needs?

Iraqi Arabs need the chance to get their lives back in a peaceful land where they can do productive work and raise their families.

Prayer Points

Pray for Iraqi Arabs in Lebanon to know God as their provider and lean on him. Pray that the Iraq Arabs in Lebanon will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings. Pray for workers who are driving by the love and boldness of the Holy Spirit to go to them. Pray for a Disciple Making Movement among them to begin this decade.

Text Source:   Joshua Project