Shabak in Iraq

Joshua Project has identified the Shabak only in Iraq






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Shabak of Iraq live in the Sinjar region of Ninevah, Mosul in many villages like Khazna, for example. They speak Shabaki and Arabic.

The Shabak have had attacks on them killing many of their people in recent times. They are in extreme danger and the dangerous situation is an obstacle to the gospel message being taken to them.

The Shabak have always been looked on as being lower class people in Iraq. They have been discriminated against by Iraqi authorities and by the Kurdish people too who they live amongst.

It is said they are likely to have migrated from Persia to Ninevah in the 1600s. Many of the Shabak are related to the Kurds and the word shabak in Arabic means intertwine.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Shabak began their own religion to defend themselves against what they say to be false accusations from the past. They have beliefs from Islam and Christianity. The Shabak have their own ideas on spiritual life and mix it with Sufism too. They have religious guides called Pirs. They drink alcohol unlike other Muslims.

Prayer Points

* Prayer needs to be made for their safety and that their situation leads to them to come to Jesus Christ. Many have now gone to Iraqi Kurdistan.
* Pray their despised situation may work for their good, making them receptive to the gospel message.
* Pray that they meet loving Christians.


Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Shabak
People Name in Country Shabak
Population in Iraq 31,000
World Population 31,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Persian-Median
People Cluster Kurd
People Name General Shabak
Ethnic Code CNT24c
People ID 19500
Country Iraq
Region Middle East and North Africa
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 3  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country North of Mosul, Ali Rach, Yangija, Khazna, Talara villages; many displaced since 1980's.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Shabak (31,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Shabak 31,000
For Primary Language: Shabak

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.07 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.93 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
4.0 %
Other Christian
12.0 %
4.0 %
Roman Catholic
80.0 %
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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