Arab, Iraqi in Sweden

Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Arab, Iraqi
Country: Sweden
10/40 Window: No
Population: 99,000
World Population: 21,994,000
Primary Language: Arabic, Mesopotamian
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 1.00 %
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 generosity of Sweden resulted in an influx of Iraqis applying to live there. Sweden takes in more than half of the Iraqi asylum seekers wanting to live in Europe. In 2006, Sweden allowed more protection to Iraqis than all the other EU countries put together.

The number of Iraqi Arab refugees in Sweden has more than doubled since 2002. A smaller number came in the 1980s because of the Iran-Iraq war. Iraqi Christians fled to Sweden because of persecution in Iraq since 2003. Sweden’s generous open door policy has allowed a high number of Iraqis and other Muslim people to enter.

Iraqis are the second biggest minority peoples group living in Sweden after the Swedish Finns. They live mainly in Stockholm, Malmo and Sodertalje. They speak Iraqi Arabic, Kurdish, Swedish, Neo Aramaic, Mandaic and Turkmen.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Because of so many of them coming to live in Sweden they are having to live in poor conditions. Many of the new Iraqi migrants are having to live in very crowded apartments, sometimes with as many as fifteen people. Most live in segregated ethnically based ghettos in urban areas. That does not give them the chance to learn Swedish ways or language.

In general, the first Iraqis who came to Sweden had more education and money. Newer immigrants are not as fortunate. They must build their lives from a lower point.

What Are Their Beliefs?

They are mainly Muslims, some Sunni, some Shia. Others follow Syriac Christianity. They have one of the largest Mandaean people groups in the world and they are followers of Mandaeism, an ancient Gnostic religion.

What Are Their Needs?

Iraqi Arabs who have arrived in Sweden in recent years are still trying to master the local language and get high paying jobs. They often need job training and language skills.

Prayer Points

Pray for workers to go to the Iraqi Arab people, and for their hearts to be ready to receive their Savior.
Pray for families of believers loving and serving others to grow reproducing churches.
Pray for a chain reaction of families reaching families that results in thousands of new believers who share their faith with others.
Pray for grace and truth expanding into their entire society as all believers learn to love others.

Text Source:   Joshua Project