The Catholic University of America

Survey and Mapping Project of Christian Communities in Iraqi Kurdistan

Between December 2011 and April 2012, Richard C Michael and Wijnand D. Langeraar undertook to map and survey the Christian communities of the three Governorates comprising the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.  Activities included: a) the compilation of population statistics for all Christian communities in Iraqi Kurdistan – verifying these numbers where possible, b) a statistically sound survey of the major urban Christian enclave of Ainkawa, c) the creation of a map of the Christian population centers of Iraqi Kurdistan classified by size and religious rite, d) a broad survey of modern Christian life in villages and smaller towns, and e) the building of a video and photo archive of Christian life in present day Iraqi Kurdistan.

The project mapped and classified 137 Christian population centers ranging from small, ancient, mountain villages with fewer than 30 families to thriving, modern urban centers.  The recorded population of these centers as compiled from local parishes and government sources was approximately 72,000 people at the time of our survey.  While we believe the population numbers for villages and small towns are generally accurate, we believe urban areas contain significant undercounts of IDPs (internally-displaced persons), mainly from Baghdad and Mosul, and younger Christians who have migrated from the local countryside. These IDP and migrations trends were seen clearly in our detailed study of the Ainkawa Christian population.

Complete data and analysis will be published on

Back to The Iraqi Kurdistan Religious Freedom Project.




Maps show the distribution of each rite in the KRI.  The size of the bubble is proportional to population.  Thumbnails can be downloaded as full-sized maps.  See more details at







Back to The Iraqi Kurdistan Religious Freedom Project.