2003 April 21 Monday
How Many Christians Are In Iraq?

Population numbers of foreign lands reported in the press are frequently unreliable. I've just encountered another example of this unreliability. Some of these reports must be wrong because they all disagree with each other. The Christian Science Monitor says there are 650,000 Christians in Iraq.

There are 650,000 Christians in Iraq, most Chaldeans but also Syrian, Latin, and Armenian Catholics, and members of a variety of Orthodox sects. Their numbers have fallen from more than a million during the past 20 years, as emigration has taken its toll.

The biggest bloc of Christians in Iraq are Chaldeans and MSNBC says there are only 190,000 Chaldeans in Iraq.

Though Iraq is largely a Muslim nation, it has some 190,000 members of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Rite branch of Catholicism that retains some ties to the Vatican.

The UK Independent says there are 700,000 Christians in Iraq.

Christians, most of them Chaldean Catholics, account for an estimated 700,000 in Iraq, about 5 per cent of the population.

The Oakland Press says that Christians are 3% of Iraq's population which would be about 720,000 Christians.

Just 3 percent of the nation is Christian, mainly Chaldeans and Assyrians.

But CNN says there are 250,000 Christians in Iraq.

Christians are a minority in Iraq, only about one percent of the population, or 250,000, according to Baghdad church officials

A Malaysian newspaper says there are only 500,000 Christians in Iraq.

As Iraq's estimated 500,000 Christians celebrated Easter, thousands of Shiite worshippers were expected to continue to flock towards the holy city of Karbala in an annual pilgrimage that Saddam's regime had banned for years.

The Globe And Mail agrees with the 500,000 figure.

The Christian population of Iraq remains substantial numbering about 500,000 people, or 2 per cent of the country.

The CIA World Factbook puts Christians at 3% of Iraq's population.

Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%

So how many Christians are in Iraq? You can't trust the press to tell you. The lesson here is that some times figures are bandied about as if they are known with precision when they are not.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 April 21 12:23 AM  Media Critique

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