What does persecution look like in Jordan?
Compared to Christians living in other Middle Eastern countries, most Christians in Jordan live a safe and stable life. The majority belong to Orthodox or Roman Catholic churches, which are recognised by the government. Jordan is tolerant as long as everybody stays in their religion of birth. However, for non-traditional churches, those perceived to be sharing the gospel, and people becoming believers from Muslim backgrounds, there is persecution.
Christian communities are monitored in Jordan, and a Christian from a Muslim background can face beating, arrest or even being killed, if they are open about their new faith. Believers from Muslim backgrounds have been subject to days of interrogation and beatings, while being pressurized to inform on other Christians. It is impossible for someone who has converted to Christianity from a Muslim background to marry a Christian, as they are still legally considered Muslims: only two Christians from traditional denominations can legally be married. Sharia (Islamic law) also states that if a Christian wife converts to Islam, her husband must convert as well for their marriage to remain legal. Those seen to be helping or encouraging Muslim converts can face threats and have their daily lives made very difficult.
ordan is also home to some Islamic extremist militants returning from war in Syria and Iraq, who pose a threat to the Christian community.
Who is most vulnerable to persecution?
Across the country, Christians who have converted from Islam face the most persecution. This is consistent all over the country, although social pressure and control is likely to be higher in rural areas. The south of the country is known to be more conservatively Islamic.
"I used to be a bully, a troublemaker. I am a new creation now in Jesus Christ. I look more and more like Him."Tareq
What has changed this year?
The small decrease in the persecution score in Jordan is mainly due to a lower number of reported violent incidents. For example, there were no recorded occurrences of Christians being forced to leave their homes and being displaced, either inside or outside the country. Other incidents continue to be reported, such as physical abuse, which chiefly targets converts from Islam.
What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Jordan?
Open Doors works with local partners in Jordan to support Christians through training, relief aid and rehabilitation projects and raising prayer support.
How can you pray for Jordan?
- Please pray for protection on those coming to faith from Muslim backgrounds.
- Pray that Jordan's authorities would be able to stifle the growing threat of Islamic extremism.
- Pray that Christians of all backgrounds would be respected for living lives of integrity.
Lord Jesus, may all those who have experienced suffering because of their faith in You know the depths of Your love, and Your power at work in them. We pray that the families of new believers would be touched by their courage and their testimonies, and have their preconceptions about Christianity overturned. Please stifle the threat of extremism in Jordan and continue to build Your church there. Amen.