The Human Truth Foundation

Iraq (Republic of Iraq)

By Vexen Crabtree 2013

#iraq

Iraq
Republic of Iraq
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index183rd best
CapitalBaghdad
Land Area 434 320km21
LocationAsia, The Middle East
Population38.4m2
Life Expectancy69.63yrs (2017)3
GNI$11 608 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesIQ, IRQ, 3685
Internet Domain.iq6
CurrencyDinar (IQD)7
Telephone+9648

1. Overview

#iran #iraq #kuwait #UK

Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was occupied by Britain during the course of World War I; in 1920, it was declared a League of Nations mandate under UK administration. In stages over the next dozen years, Iraq attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of strongmen ruled the country until 2003. The last was SADDAM Husayn. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-88). In August 1990, Iraq seized Kuwait but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Following Kuwait's liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions over a period of 12 years led to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the SADDAM Husayn regime. US forces remained in Iraq under a UNSC mandate through 2009 and under a bilateral security agreement thereafter, helping to provide security and to train and mentor Iraqi security forces. In October 2005, Iraqis approved a constitution in a national referendum and, pursuant to this document, elected a 275-member Council of Representatives (COR) in December 2005. The COR approved most cabinet ministers in May 2006, marking the transition to Iraq's first constitutional government in nearly a half century. In January 2009, Iraq held elections for provincial councils in all governorates except for the three governorates comprising the Kurdistan Regional Government and Kirkuk Governorate. Iraq held a national legislative election in March 2010 - choosing 325 legislators in an expanded COR - and, after nine months of deadlock the COR approved the new government in December 2010. Nearly nine years after the start of the Second Gulf War in Iraq, US military operations there ended in mid-December 2011.

CIA's The World Factbook (2013)9

Book CoverOne of the cradles of civilisation, Iraq has, despite its recent troubles and persistent bad press, a wealth of human and cultural riches to reveal. Torn between its glorious past as the cradle of civilisation and the turmoil of its recent bloody history, Iraq is a country of contradictions. It is the birthplace of writing and the legendary home of the Garden of Eden, Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Epic of Gilgamesh. But it is also a place of unimaginable horrors.

Since the 2003 US-led invasion, Iraq has been caught in a cycle of violence. The country has since intermittently hovered on the cusp of a new beginning. Even so, with the exception of Iraqi Kurdistan, much of Iraq remains too dangerous for independent travellers. The future is far from certain, but with its rich history and warm hospitality, Iraq could become one of the great travel destinations of the Middle East, insha´ Allah.

Iraqi Kurdistan´s slogan, `The Other Iraq´, could not be more fitting. This is the Iraq you don´t see in the news. It´s a safe and tranquil oasis with happening cities, soaring mountains and welcoming people.

"The World" by Lonely Planet (2014)10

2. Iraq National and Social Development

#economics #human_development

UN HDI (2016)11
Pos.Lower is better
Rank11
1Norway1
2Australia2
3Switzerland2
...
118Bolivia118
119S. Africa119
120Kyrgyzstan120
121Iraq121
122Cape Verde122
123Morocco123
124Nicaragua124
125Guatemala125
World Avg94.3
q=188.
Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)12
Pos.Higher is better
PPP $12
1Qatar$129 916
2Singapore$78 162
3Kuwait$76 075
...
88Serbia$12 202
89S. Africa$12 087
90Nauru$12 058
91Iraq$11 608
92Grenada$11 502
93Peru$11 295
94Sri Lanka$10 789
95Ecuador$10 536
World Avg$17 240
q=193.
Social & Moral
Development Index
13,14
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank13,14
1Taiwan30.2
2Denmark30.5
3Norway30.9
...
180Yemen122.6
181Nauru123.2
182Guinea-Bissau123.7
183Iraq124.2
184Eritrea124.4
185Congo, DR124.8
186Micronesia125.3
187Palau125.9
World Avg86.4
q=195.

The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others..

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: Which are the Best Countries in the World? The Social and Moral Development Index.

3. Iraq's Demographics

#birth_control #demographics #health #immigration #life_expectancy #longevity #migration #overpopulation #population

Population:

Iraq's population is predicted to rise to 55.26 million by 2030. These millions of extra people will all need space to live, food to eat, energy to consume, and will increase the burden on the planet's resources. This country has a fertility rate of 4.57. The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.

Population (2018)2
Pos.
Population2
1China1.4b
2India1.4b
3USA327.1m
...
33Uganda42.7m
34Algeria42.2m
35Sudan41.8m
36Iraq38.4m
37Poland37.9m
38Afghanistan37.2m
39Canada37.1m
40Morocco36.0m
World Avg39.0m
q=195.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
120Bhutan69.85
121Mongolia69.81
122Syria69.65
123Iraq69.63
124Kazakhstan69.59
125Tajikistan69.58
126Uzbekistan69.40
127Micronesia69.27
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
150Congo, (Brazzaville)4.46
151Central African Rep.4.46
152Madagascar4.52
153Iraq4.57
154Kenya4.64
155Senegal4.65
156Gambia4.73
157Mozambique4.75
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Old-Age Dependency Ratio (2016)16
Pos.Lower is better
Per 10016
1Uganda04.3
2Mali04.5
3Chad04.7
...
23Benin05.8
24Burundi05.9
25Liberia05.9
26Iraq06.0
27Guinea06.1
28Guinea-Bissau06.1
29Lesotho06.1
30Kenya06.1
World Avg18.3
q=185.

Migration:

Immigrants (2017)17
Pos.
%17
1UAE88.4%
2Kuwait75.5%
3Qatar65.2%
...
153Congo, DR1.1%
154Bosnia & Herzegovina1.1%
155Guinea1.0%
156Iraq1.0%
157Mexico0.9%
158Timor-Leste (E. Timor)0.9%
159Zambia0.9%
160Bangladesh0.9%
World Avg9.4%
q=195.
Emigrants (2010)18
Pos.
%18
1Dominica104.8%
2Palestine68.4%
3Samoa67.3%
...
110Turkmenistan5.0%
111Mozambique5.0%
112Senegal5.0%
113Iraq4.9%
114Denmark4.7%
115Yemen4.7%
116Hungary4.6%
117Colombia4.6%
World Avg11.5%
q=192.

4. Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

#equality #freedom #human_rights #iraq #politics #tolerance

Iraq is amongst the worst places in the world at ensuring human rights and freedom, and it has severe cultural issues when it comes to tolerance and equality. Iraq does better than average in speed of uptake of HR treaties19. But unfortunately Iraq gets most other things wrong. It does worse than average in commentary in Human Rights Watch reports20, opposing gender inequality21, supporting press freedom22, its nominal commitment to Human Rights23 and in LGBT equality24. And finally, it is the worst in its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice25. The rich dominate the poor - just 1% of the population control 22% of the country's entire income26. Violence against women is rife, and women have few legal protections to shield them from domestic abuse27. Homosexual relations are illegal27. As a result of the death penalty, "Iraq has long had one of the highest rates of executions in the world"27.

Human Rights Watch finds that ISIS have "carried out the most serious human rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity"27 and the UN finds the ISIS responsible for genocide27. Iraq forces have conducted widespread 'collective punishments' against families and communities27.

For tables, charts and commentary, see:

5. Iraq's Health

#alcohol #birth_control #demographics #health #Iraq #life_expectancy #longevity #obesity #overpopulation #parenting #population #smoking #vaccines

Health (2020)28,29
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank28,29
1Hong Kong18.0
2Singapore41.5
3Maldives43.3
...
179Papua New Guinea122.0
180Congo, (Brazzaville)123.1
181Gabon131.4
182Iraq132.0
183Ivory Coast132.4
184Angola135.0
185Equatorial Guinea136.4
186Nigeria140.8
187S. Sudan143.3
World Avg92.3
q=187.

The countries with the best overall approach to public health, in terms of both public policy and individual lifestyle choices, are Hong Kong, Singapore and The Maldives28. These countries are worth emulating. And, although often through no fault of the average citizen, the worst countries are S. Sudan, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea28.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are its average life expectancy, its alcohol consumption rate, its fertility rate, its smoking rate, its suicide rate, its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance, the prevalence of overweight adults, its adolescent birth rate and its immunizations take-up. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Asia and Europe28, whereas the worst are Africa, Micronesia and Polynesia28.

Health:

Iraq is a pretty unhealthy country. Iraq comes in the best 20 when it comes to its alcohol consumption rate30. However Iraq performs less well in most areas. It does worse than average in its average life expectancy12, its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance31 (the worst in Asia), its smoking rate32, its adolescent birth rate21 (the worst in Asia) and in its fertility rate15 (amongst the highest in Asia). And finally, it falls into the worst 20 in its immunizations take-up33 (amongst the worst in Asia). The prevalence of overweight adults has increased by 14% during the last 40 years.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
120Bhutan69.85
121Mongolia69.81
122Syria69.65
123Iraq69.63
124Kazakhstan69.59
125Tajikistan69.58
126Uzbekistan69.40
127Micronesia69.27
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Alcohol Consumption (2016)30
Pos.Lower is better
Per Capita30
1Bangladesh0.0
2Kuwait0.0
3Libya0.0
...
9Syria0.3
10Pakistan0.3
11Kiribati0.4
12Iraq0.4
13Brunei0.4
14Egypt0.4
15Djibouti0.5
16Niger0.5
World Avg6.2
q=189.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
150Congo, (Brazzaville)4.46
151Central African Rep.4.46
152Madagascar4.52
153Iraq4.57
154Kenya4.64
155Senegal4.65
156Gambia4.73
157Mozambique4.75
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Smoking Rates (2014)32
Pos.Higher is worse32
182Montenegro4 125
181Belarus3 831
180Lebanon3 023
...
138Philippines1 291
137Malta1 266
136Spain1 265
135Iraq1 227
134Vietnam1 215
133Egypt1 188
132Albania1 177
131Canada1 154
World Avg 819
q=182.
Food Aid, Health Contributions & WHO Compliance (2017)31
Pos.Lower is better
Rank31
1Sweden1
2Ireland2
3Denmark3
...
132Suriname132
133Grenada133
134Montenegro134
135Iraq135
136Madagascar136
137Congo, (Brazzaville)137
138Albania138
139Ghana139
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Overweight Adults (2016)34
Pos.Lower is better
%34
1Vietnam18.3
2India19.7
3Bangladesh20.0
...
165Israel64.3
166Bahamas64.4
167Australia64.5
168Iraq64.6
169Mexico64.9
170New Zealand65.6
171Bahrain65.8
172Malta66.4
World Avg49.0
q=191.

Children's Health:

Adolescent Birth Rate (2015)21
Pos.Lower is better
Per 100021
1N. Korea0.5
2S. Korea1.6
3Switzerland2.9
...
149Guatemala80.7
150Bangladesh83.0
151Benin83.2
152Iraq84.0
153Sao Tome & Principe84.3
154Guyana88.0
155Nicaragua88.8
156Guinea-Bissau89.5
World Avg47.9
q=185.
Infant Immunizations 2011-2015 (2015)33
Pos.Higher is better
Avg %33
1Hungary99.0
2China99.0
3Uzbekistan98.9
...
175S. Africa72.5
176Angola71.9
177Madagascar71.9
178Iraq70.7
179Afghanistan70.6
180Niger69.7
181Samoa68.1
182Yemen67.4
World Avg88.3
q=194.

6. Iraq's Modernity and Learning

#education #intelligence #it_security #modernity #religion #research #science #technology #the_internet

Modernity and Learning (2020)35
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank35
1Finland8.0
2Belgium9.1
3Denmark10.0
...
155Tanzania105.3
156Honduras105.3
157Yemen105.7
158Iraq106.6
159Guyana107.6
160Liberia107.8
161Central African Rep.108.5
162Mauritania108.7
163Guinea-Bissau109.3
World Avg69.0
q=180.

Modernity and Education:

Research and Development (2016)
Pos.Higher is better
% RDP PPP
1S. Korea4.2936
2Israel4.1136
3Japan3.5836
...
119Honduras0.0437
120Guatemala0.0438
121Bahrain0.0439
122Colombia0.0439
123Iraq0.0340
124El Salvador0.0338
125China0.0339
126Lesotho0.0140
World Avg0.84
q=126.
Secondary Education (2018)41
Pos.Higher is better41
1Luxembourg100.0%
2Estonia100.0%
3Austria100.0%
...
112Macedonia49.8%
113Indonesia48.8%
114Congo, (Brazzaville)48.8%
115Iraq48.0%
116Paraguay47.8%
117Nicaragua47.5%
118Maldives47.1%
119Bangladesh46.7%
World Avg63.0%
q=169.
Length of Schooling (2018)42
Pos.Higher is better
Years42
1Australia22.1
2Belgium19.7
3Finland19.3
...
149Comoros11.2
150Bangladesh11.2
151Rwanda11.2
152Iraq11.1
153Kenya11.1
154Laos11.1
155Malawi11.0
156Turkmenistan10.9
World Avg13.2
q=193.
Intellectual Endeavours (2017)31
Pos.Lower is better
Rank31
1Ukraine1
2Czechia2
3Hungary3
...
156Tanzania156
157Equatorial Guinea157
158Guyana158
159Afghanistan159
160Indonesia160
161Bolivia161
162Iraq162
163Angola163
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Religiosity (2009)43
Pos.Lower is better
%43
1Estonia16
2Sweden17
3Denmark19
...
54Romania84
55Honduras84
56Peru84
57Iraq84
58Nicaragua84
59S. Africa85
60Tajikistan85
61Malta86
World Avg75.1
q=114.
IQ (2006)44
Pos.Higher is better44
1Hong Kong108
2Singapore108
3S. Korea106
...
62Mexico88
63Brazil87
64Bolivia87
65Iraq87
66Azerbaijan87
67Indonesia87
68Turkmenistan87
69Uzbekistan87
World Avg85.6
q=138.

Technology and Information:

Internet Users (2016)45
Pos.Higher is better45
1Iceland100%
2Faroe Islands99%
3Norway98%
...
165Namibia16%
166Turkmenistan15%
167Bangladesh13%
168Iraq13%
169Kiribati13%
170Rwanda12%
171Mali12%
172Haiti12%
World Avg48.1%
q=201.
IT Security (2013)46
Pos.Lower is better46
1Ireland0.11
2Luxembourg0.11
3Belize0.11
...
73Angola1.61
74Sri Lanka1.67
75Oman1.72
76Iraq1.84
77Bangladesh1.87
78Sudan1.98
79India2.10
80Russia2.42
World Avg0.98
q=81.
IPv6 Uptake (2017)47
Pos.Higher is better
Ratio47
1Belgium55.4
2Germany41.8
3Switzerland35.1
...
141Kiribati0.0
142Ivory Coast0.0
143Mauritania0.0
144Iraq0.0
145Oman0.0
146Papua New Guinea0.0
147French Polynesia0.0
148Palestine0.0
World Avg3.82
q=176.

7. National Culture

#charity #corruption #happiness #morals #politics

Personal Charitability
(World Position, 2013-2016)
48
Pos.Lower is better48
1Myanmar (Burma)1.25
2USA1.5
3New Zealand3.5
...
57Belgium47.25
58Chile47.25
59Saudi Arabia48
60Iraq50.25
61Zambia51.5
62Sierra Leone51.67
63Kyrgyzstan52
64S. Africa53.25
World Avg68.1185897435897
q=156.
Corruption (2012-2016)49
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score49
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
168Uzbekistan18.4
169Turkmenistan18.2
170Libya16.8
171Iraq16.6
172S. Sudan13.8
173Sudan12.2
174Afghanistan10.8
175N. Korea08.8
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Happiness (2018)50
Pos.Higher is better50
1Finland7.6
2Norway7.6
3Denmark7.6
...
114Congo, (Brazzaville)4.6
115Bangladesh4.5
116Sri Lanka4.5
117Iraq4.5
118Mali4.4
119Namibia4.4
120Cambodia4.4
121Burkina Faso4.4
World Avg5.38
q=156.
Creativity and Culture (2017)31
Pos.Lower is better
Rank31
1Belgium1
2Netherlands2
3Estonia3
...
153Liberia153
154Venezuela154
155Yemen155
156Iraq156
157Iran157
158Gabon158
159Central African Rep.159
160Burundi160
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Open Trading, Aid and Development (2017)31
Pos.Lower is better
Rank31
1Ireland1
2Denmark2
3Sweden3
...
150Cameroon150
151Suriname151
152Gabon152
153Iraq153
154Paraguay154
155Grenada155
156Venezuela156
157Bahrain157
World Avg82.0
q=163.

8. Peace Versus Instability

#extremism #human_development #peace #politics #religious_violence #terrorism

Global Peace Index (2012)51
Pos.Lower is better51
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
150Central African Rep.2.87
151N. Korea2.93
152Russia2.94
153Congo, DR3.07
154Iraq3.19
155Sudan3.19
156Afghanistan3.25
157Somalia3.39
World Avg2.02
q=157.
Peacekeeping and Security (2017)31
Pos.Lower is better
Rank31
1Samoa1
2S. Africa2
3Tunisia3
...
155Mali155
156Swaziland156
157Yemen157
158Iraq158
159Bahrain159
160Slovenia160
161Tonga161
162Marshall Islands162
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Refugees and UN Treaties (2017)31
Pos.Lower is better
Rank31
1Austria1
2Germany2
3Netherlands3
...
112Libya112
113Belize113
114Morocco114
115Iraq115
116Dominica116
117Saudi Arabia117
118Lesotho118
119Oman119
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Impact of Terrorism (2019)52
Pos.Lower is better
Score52
1Togo0.00
2Mongolia0.00
3Swaziland0.00
...
143Yemen7.26
144India7.52
145Somalia7.80
146Pakistan7.89
147Syria8.01
148Nigeria8.60
149Iraq9.24
150Afghanistan9.60
World Avg2.78
q=150.

9. The Natural Environment

#biodiversity #climate_change #over-exploitation #the_environment

Forest Area Change 1990-2015 (2015)53
Pos.Higher is better
%53
1Iceland205.6
2Bahrain144.4
3Uruguay131.3
...
61Gabon04.5
62Ukraine04.1
63Croatia03.8
64Iraq03.3
65USA02.7
66Georgia02.6
67Austria02.5
68Finland01.8
World Avg02.8
q=184.
Environmental Performance (2018)54
Pos.Higher is better54
1Switzerland87.4
2France84.0
3Denmark81.6
...
149Zimbabwe43.4
150Cambodia43.2
151Solomon Islands43.2
152Iraq43.2
153Laos42.9
154Burkina Faso42.8
155Sierra Leone42.5
156Gambia42.4
World Avg56.4
q=180.
Convention on Biological Diversity
Pos.Earlier is better
Signed
1China1993 Dec 29
2Guinea1993 Dec 29
3Cook Islands1993 Dec 29
...
189Montenegro2006 Jun 03
190Timor-Leste (E. Timor)2007 Jan 08
191Brunei2008 Jul 27
192Iraq2009 Oct 26
193Somalia2009 Dec 10
194Palestine2015 Apr 02
195Andorra2015 May 05
196USA
World Avg1899 Dec 30
q=197.
Rational Beliefs on the Environment (2011)55
Pos.Higher is better
%55
1Argentina78.3%
2Greece77.6%
3Brazil77.1%
...
109Nigeria25.3%
110Armenia25.3%
111Kazakhstan25.0%
112Iraq24.9%
113Sweden24.3%
114New Zealand24.2%
115Poland23.8%
116Belarus23.7%
World Avg39.9%
q=145.

10. Economic Inequality and Poverty

#capitalism #economics #health #inequality #life_expectancy #poverty #social_development

Inequality in Life Expectancy (2019)56
Pos.Higher is worse56
184Chad40.90
183Central African Rep.40.10
182Sierra Leone39.00
...
120Sao Tome & Principe17.00
119Tajikistan16.70
118Micronesia16.10
117Iraq15.90
116Philippines15.30
115Trinidad & Tobago14.90
114Fiji14.90
113Guatemala14.60
World Avg14.59
q=184.
Income Inequality (Gini Coefficient) (2017)57
Pos.Lower is better
%57
1Ukraine25.0
2Belarus25.4
3Slovenia25.4
...
18Albania29.0
19Sweden29.2
20Malta29.4
21Iraq29.5
22Hungary30.4
23Austria30.5
24Sao Tome & Principe30.8
25Poland30.8
World Avg38.1
q=152.
Multidimensional Poverty (2018)58
Pos.Lower is better
Severity58
1Armenia.001
2Ukraine.001
3Serbia.001
...
37Syria.029
38Tajikistan.029
39El Salvador.032
40Iraq.033
41Suriname.041
42Mongolia.042
43Peru.053
44Gabon.066
World Avg.154
q=101.

11. Religion and Beliefs

#belief #buddhism #christianity #god #hinduism #iraq #islam #judaism #religion

Religiosity (2009)43
Pos.Lower is better
%43
1Estonia16
2Sweden17
3Denmark19
...
54Romania84
55Honduras84
56Peru84
57Iraq84
58Nicaragua84
59S. Africa85
60Tajikistan85
61Malta86
World Avg75.1
q=114.
Disbelief In God (2007)59
Pos.Higher is better
%59
1Vietnam81
2Japan65
3Sweden64
...
106Tanzania0
107Malaysia0
108Haiti0
109Iraq0
110Guinea0
111Ghana0
112Jordan0
113Gambia0
World Avg9.9
q=137.

Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below60:

Christian0.8%
Muslim99%
Hindu0.1%
Buddhist0.1%
Folk Religion0.1%
Jew0.1%
Unaffiliated0.1%

It appears that when asked "What religion are you" many give pollsters the 'correct' answer despite how they actually feel, and despite what they actually believe. Although 100% of the populace say they belong to a religion, only 84% say that they are religious when the question is phrased as "Is religion an important part of your daily life?".

For more on this phenomenon, see:

The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Muslim (official) 97% (Shia 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%. note: while there has been voluntary relocation of many Christian families to northern Iraq, recent reporting indicates that the overall Christian population may have dropped by as much as 50 percent since the fall of the Saddam HUSSEIN regime in 2003, with many fleeing to Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon61.

Freedom of Religion and Belief: When it comes to religious freedom and persecution, sociologists Grim & Finke place Iraq into the worst category, along with just 13 other countries. In this category, severe restrictions on religious freedom and freedom of belief stem simultaneously from top-down pressure from government and institutionalized religion, and from bottom-up grassroots movements that often go even further than the government in harassing those who do not believe the right things (2011)62.

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