There are 180,000 Christians in Jordan. They make up a very small minority – less than two per cent of a total population of 10.2 million.
Compared to Christians living in other Middle Eastern countries, most Christians in Jordan live a safe and stable life and enjoy a relatively high level of religious freedom. King Abdallah and his government appear to tolerate and, to a certain degree, support recognised churches, and Jordan fell five places on the World Watch List this year. Most believers in Jordan belong to Orthodox or Roman Catholic churches.
However, Christians still experience discrimination in employment and restrictions against public preaching. Churches that are not legally recognised by the government can face harassment by public authorities, particularly those that actively evangelise. Believers who are active in evangelism or help converts from Islam can face threats and oppression in daily life.
“I used to be a bully, a troublemaker. But now I am a committed member of these groups, joining the Bible study meetings twice a week. I am a new creation now in Jesus Christ. I look more and more like Him.” Tareq
Although Jordan likes to present itself as a beacon of tolerance and interfaith dialogue, radicalised Sunni Muslims and returning jihadists from Syria and Iraq continue to pose a threat to the Christian community.
Christians who convert from Islam are most susceptible to persecution, particularly from family or community who oppose their conversion. Christian women who have converted are particularly vulnerable, and pressure comes most often from family. They cannot officially marry Christian men and, even if they marry abroad, the state does not recognise such marriages. Men who convert from Islam may be rejected from their homes.
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Jordan. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Open Doors works with local partners in Jordan to support the church through training for Christians, relief and rehabilitation projects, and practical aid.
*Name changed for security reasons
Lord God, please strengthen our church family in Jordan. Give them opportunities and boldness to proclaim the gospel in their communities. Protect and provide for believers who are not safe in their homes; help them to be a witness to their families and find fellowship with other believers. Amen.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.