Climate: mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding in central and southern Iraq.
Terrain: mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey.
Environment Issues: government water control projects drained most of the inhabited marsh areas east of An Nasiriyah by drying up or diverting the feeder streams and rivers; a once sizable population of Marsh Arabs, who inhabited these areas for thousands of years, has been displaced; furthermore, the destruction of the natural habitat poses serious threats to the area’s wildlife populations; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil degradation (salination) and erosion; desertification; military and industrial infrastructure has released heavy metals and other hazardous substances into the air, soil, and groundwater; major sources of environmental damage are effluents from oil refineries, factory and sewage discharges into rivers, fertilizer and chemical contamination of the soil, and industrial air pollution in urban areas.
Languages: Arabic (official), Kurdish (official), Turkmen (a Turkish dialect), Syriac (Neo-Aramaic), and Armenian are official in areas where native speakers of these languages constitute a majority of the population.
Government Type: federal parliamentary republic
URGENT is engaged in the following activities within Iraq:
Persecution for Christ-followers is growing in Iraq. The threat of discrimination, violence, and abduction are sobering realities. A Muslim who converts to Christianity and shares their new-found faith with others is considered blasphemous and denied lawful rights as a citizen. (Source: Open Doors)
Pray for an emboldened faith among Christ-followers so that the gospel message might spread throughout the country.
Pray against fear that would rob a Christ-follower of the peace God desires for them to walk in.
Pray for the leaders of Iraq to come to Christ and for an end to the hostilities in this nation that has seen so much devastation.