Arab, Iraqi in Norway

Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Arab, Iraqi
Country: Norway
10/40 Window: No
Population: 35,000
World Population: 21,994,000
Primary Language: Arabic, Mesopotamian
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 12.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
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 like Norway that have strong economies.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today, many of the Arabs live in cities and towns, and they take a more urban mindset into their new European homes. Their traditional family and tribal ties were weakened in Iraq, and they are being further challenged in Norway. As a result, they have experienced much tension.
For example, the role of women has changed. Women have more job opportunities, and traditional family roles are being challenged. Arranged marriages are giving way to European ways. Some question their religious beliefs in this secularized environment.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Though the younger generation is becoming secularized, most adhere either to Sunni or Shia Islam. They will practice Islamic marriage practices and the mosque is central in their weddings.

What Are Their Needs?

Iraqi Muslims in Norway 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 Norwegian 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 Norway.

Text Source:   Joshua Project