Iraq

QUICK FACTS

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

OVERVIEW OF IRAQ

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