Iraq: 35.8 million people (95.9% Muslim and 1.6% Christian)…Persecution Level: Extreme
Iraq is a complicated mixture of severe persecution and increased freedom for believers and evangelism. Islamic extremists have targeted Christian leaders, churches and businesses. Though Islam is the official religion, the constitution guarantees “full religious rights of all individuals.” Other laws, however, restrict the freedom to change religions. To register, a church must have 500 members and the approval of the Council of Iraqi Churches. Between 2003 and 2014, about half the Christian population fled the country. With the advance of IS into Iraq in 2014, many of the remaining Christians have been displaced or have fled. When the Islamic State (IS) invaded Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, in June 2014, they issued an ultimatum to the estimated 35,000 Christians there, telling them to convert, pay a high tax, leave or be killed. Nearly all fled. (Voice of the Martyrs)
My prayer today:
Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for prisoners in Asia, according to Hebrews 13:3.
1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.
2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)
3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.
4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.
5. 600 million people live in abject poverty in the slums of Asia.
6. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)