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Iraq is a religiously diverse country, and although the modern Middle Eastern nation-state of Iraq is a 20th-century invention, the ancient Mesopotamian region that it occupies has been host to—and often the origin of—many religious traditions over the past several millennia. According to estimates in 2003, approximately 97% of the Iraqi population of 22–28 million was Muslim. Shi'a Muslims—predominantly Arab but also including Turkoman, Faili Kurds, and other groups—constituted a 60%-65% majority. Sunnis made up 32%-37% of the population (approximately 18%-20% were Sunni Kurds, 12%-15% Sunni Arabs, and the rest were Sunni Turkomen). The remaining 3% of the overall population consisted of Christians (Assyrians, Chaldeans, Roman Catholics, and Armenians), Yazidis, Mandaeans, and a small contingent of Jews (the religious and ethnic makeup of Iraq at ...

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