Iraq occupies a prominent religious position among the Islamic countries, as it is the cradle of inspiration, dignities and virtues throughout the history of the prophets, imams and righteous ascetics. There are many holy cities in Iraq that are distinguished by a generous heritage that is still the goal of Muslims visiting, caring for and respecting them. Among these cities is the city of Najaf, which was honored with the shrine of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (PBUH), the fourth of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and Najaf with its Haydari shrine is at the forefront of the cities sanctified by the Islamic world after Makkah and Medina. The city of Karbala, with its shrines of Al-Husseini and Al-Abbasid, is comparable to it in this regard. As for the city of Kufa, it is the first Arab capital established in the early days of Islam. It was designed by the great companion Saad bin Abi Waqqas (may God be pleased with him), and its great mosque is still standing today.

And in Baghdad, the metropolis of Islamic sciences many shrines spread all over it. It is proud of the Qadiri shrine, which includes the tomb of the gray-haired Baz Abd al-Qadir al-Kilani (may God be pleased with him), and on the outskirts of Baghdad, the Kadhimiya shrine sparkles with the shrines of the two imams Musa al-Kadhim and Muhammad al-Jawad (PBUT), As well as the Adhamiya shrine which has the shrine of Imam Abi Hanifa al-Numan Ibn Thabit (may God be pleased with him). And in the city of Samarra, the Al-Askari Kindergarten attracts the hearts of Muslims because it embraces the tombs of the two imams, Ali Al-Hadi and Al-Hasan Al-Askari (PBUT), Iraq is also famous for its historical mosques, which were and still are centers of spiritual and moral leadership. Dozens of churches, monasteries, temples, historical and modern shrines are spread throughout Iraq, where all religious communities freely practice their rituals.

Source: Guide to religious tourism in Iraq 1992

Religions in Iraq

The main religion in Iraq is the religion of Islam, which constitutes the vast majority and is embraced by about 99% of the Iraqi population, and about 1% of the population is divided between Christian and Jewish religions and other religions and sects.

Islam: Iraq is considered a Muslim majority and officially Muslims make up 99% of the population. Most Muslims in Iraq are divided into two main sects: the Twelver Shia sect and the Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jama’a sect.

Baha’is: Baha’is are among the smallest religious minorities in Iraq. They come from different religions, backgrounds, and races. They are spread out in various cities and villages of Iraq, from north to south.

Christianity: Most Christians live in the northern governorates of Iraq, especially the governorates of Nineveh and Dohuk. However, there are no official statistics for this, but it is believed that their percentage reaches 2% of the Iraqi population.

Yazidis: The Yazidis are followers of a religion in the Middle East with ancient origins. Most of them live near the city of Mosul and the Sinjar Mountains region in Iraq, and their percentage is about 1.8% of the Iraqi population.

Mandaean: according to the opinion and belief of the Mandaean religion, it is considered one of the Abrahamic religions, and it is the origin of all those previous monotheistic religions, and according to their opinion, it is one of the first ancient religions, and its followers are Sabeans who follow the prophets of God Adam, Seth, Idris, Noah, Shem bin and Noah, Yahya bin Zakaria, and they were They are spread in the Mesopotamia region and Palestine, and some of its followers are still present in Iraq.

Judaism: The Jewish religion appeared for the first time in Mesopotamia in the past under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon from the city of Babylon. The Jews were part of the Babylonian captivity.

The Jews constituted not a small percentage of the population before immigration and leaving Iraq during the royal era, as they constituted 20% of the population of Baghdad, and they also had a presence in the rest of the Iraqi cities in the fifties of the twentieth century. Now, their number is less than 1%, which is a very small percentage, as it represents the people who chose to stay in Iraq, and most of them are elderly.