Introduction / History
In 2003, many Iraqi Arabs fled Iraq when U.S. forces came to oust Saddam Hussein from power. We call these Arabs the "Iraqi Diaspora." They have settled in other countries as emigrants or refugees, including Algeria.
What Are Their Lives Like?
There are not many Iraqi Arabs in Algeria. It is far away from home, and most Iraqi Arabs are Shia Muslims, which could potentially put them at odds with the Sunni Muslim majority in Algeria.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Though there is a slight majority of Shia Muslims among Iraqi Arabs, the Sunnis are more likely to be refugees in other countries like Algeria. Both Shia and Sunni Muslims believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah. Like most other Arab Muslims, Iraqis depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. The often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.
What Are Their Needs?
Iraqi Arabs need to be able to either return to Iraq or get re-established in Algeria. They will need to find meaningful jobs.
Pray for Iraqi Arabs in Algeria to know God as their provider and lean on him. Pray that God will reveal himself to Iraqi Arabs in Algeria through dreams, visions, the JESUS Film, and through his Word. Pray for the Lord to direct Iraqi Arabs in his ways and help them to put their identity in Christ. Pray for a movement to Christ that cannot be stopped. Pray for Iraqi Arab communities to become open to the influence of Jesus Christ in their lives.
Scripture Prayers for the Arab, Iraqi in Algeria.