In the Bible and History
Iraq was once known as Mesopotamia, meaning the land between the rivers – the Tigris and the Euphrates. Today’s Iraq was also the location of Babylon and Assyria, and one of the earth’s earliest civilizations grew up there. The development of cuneiform writing took place there as did the development of the first known law code. It figured in the Bible when the Jews were taken into exile in Babylon.
Even though there were people from this area present at the first Pentecost, mainline Christianity as a whole did not find a place. The Assyrian Church of the East, which was considered heretical by the Orthodox churches, grew here along with the Chaldean Church.
Iraq became independent in 1932 after control by a British mandate and the Gulf War of 1991 took place after Iraq invaded Kuwait, one of its former provinces. In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq and, at this time, travel to the country is dangerous. Therefore, travel in Iraq is restricted. The aftermath of the wars is still a destabilizing force in the whole Middle East.
Christians generally are highly educated but their place in society is somewhat tenuous. They are allowed to build churches and conduct religious education, pastoral ministries and social service activities. At the same time, many have emigrated.