Leader: Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi
Government: Parliamentary democracy

Population: 35.7 million (thousands of Christians)
Main Religion: Islam

Persecution Level: Extreme
Source of persecution: Islamic extremism


The situation of religious freedom for Christians has seriously deteriorated under the influence of the establishment of the Islamic State in large parts of Iraq. In June 2014, a strict version of Islamic law was implemented in the area the militants of Islamic State hold. Christians were forced to convert, flee or pay a tax for religious minorities. As a result, many Christians fled. Moreover, the broader Iraqi society is turning more Islamic, with increased social control on women wearing a veil and observance of Ramadan. Christians most affected by persecution are converts from Islam. However, in areas held by radical Islamic groups all Christians are under great pressure.

Source: Open Doors