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The Iraq Refugee Crisis

May 21, 2020


Iraq has suffered from decades of conflict with other nations and internal strife. However, the current Iraqi refugee crisis began when militants attacked Christians and ethnic minorities.

In 2014, ISIS, the militant group known for its brutality, started to seize territory in western and northern Iraq. Children and families, primarily Christians, were victims of targeted violence as well as being caught in the crossfire. The communities they built and enjoyed were destroyed. Many were forced to flee with only the clothes on their backs.

The ongoing violence in Iraq has created a distressing humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, leaving millions of Iraqis displaced in and outside of their country. The current Iraqi refugee crisis is the largest displacement of people in the Middle East since 1948.  Since 2015, 4.2 million Iraqis have been forced to flee their homes, with over 2 million of them seeking asylum in neighboring countries such as Jordan and Syria.

There are few places on earth where Christianity is as old as it is in Iraq. Iraqi Christian communities can trace their founding back to the first century A.D.  In the early 2000s, there were 1.2 million Christians living in Iraq. Today, due to persecution by ISIS, that number is less than 250,000 — an eighty percent drop in less than two decades.

The American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East assists displaced Christians in Iraq and Jordan by providing food, shelter, medical care, and help with relocation. The Foundation’s operations in Baghdad, Northern Iraq, and Amman Jordan have helped thousands to recover from the shock and trauma of sectarian violence and start a new life. Please consider donating to help us keep providing these services.

American FRRME is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes reconciliation, provides relief efforts, advances human rights, and seeks an end to sectarian violence in the Middle East.

To make a donation to American FRRME, please visit

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