Arab, Iraqi in Italy

Arab, Iraqi
Photo Source:  James Gordon  Creative Commons 
Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Arab, Iraqi
Country: Italy
10/40 Window: No
Population: 2,200
World Population: 16,871,600
Primary Language: Arabic, Mesopotamian Spoken
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 2.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.30 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Arab, Levant
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula are considered to be 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 that Arab migrations began, eventually leading to the expansion of the Arab world into Iraq and beyond.

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.

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.

Where Are they Located?

Most Iraqi Arabs live in Iraq, but there are a number of them who have had to flee for their lives because of violence and mayhem that happened after Saddam Hussein was driven from power in 2003. As Iraq continues to be unstable, more Iraqi refugees continue to flow to Europe, usually starting in southern countries like Greece, Italy and Spain. Because these countries have weaker economies than countries like England and Germany, they try to find their way to places where they can find jobs and re-build their lives.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today some of the Iraqi Arabs live in the cities and towns of Italy. This has caused traditional family and tribal ties to be broken down somewhat. Women, as well as men, now have greater educational and employment opportunities. These and other changes have created a new "middle class" within their society. The Diaspora Arab communities fit into this new "middle class" category, especially since the people who had the means to leave Iraq were not the very poor. Because the Diaspora Arabs have been exposed to Western culture on a grand scale, their traditional culture and way of life have undergone many changes. As a result, they have experienced much tension. For example, there is greater freedom for women to leave the home, fewer arranged marriages, and less social pressure to conform to traditional religious practices.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Iraqi Arabs can be either Sunni or Shi 'ite Muslim. There is much hostility between these two branches of Islam in Iraq, especially since they are commonly used as rallying points for those who wish to take political control by force.

What Are Their Needs?

Iraqis in Italy are in desperate need of jobs. They need to find the opportunity to re-build their lives in Italy and other European countries.

Prayer Points

* Pray for a chain reaction of families in Italy reaching Iraqi Arab families resulting in thousands of new believers who share their faith with others.
* Pray for grace and truth expanding into the entire Iraqi Arab society as all believers learn to love others.
* Pray that churches and believers will bless their entire people group in such a way that God's love will change Iraqi Arabs like yeast changes dough.

Text Source:   Keith Carey