What does persecution look like in Jordan?
Many Christians in Jordan can worship freely. In general, Jordan is more tolerant of Christianity, particularly compared to some other places in the region. The monarchy of King Abdullah II has recognized multiple churches and allows these communities to worship freely, as long as they don't preach publicly or reach out to Muslims. But even Christians in these communities report facing some level of discrimination in the workplace. And the Jordanian state actively monitors all approved churches.
But any Christian who is active in evangelism, is known to support converts from Islam, belongs to an unrecognized church, or is a convert from Islam, can experience pressure. Christians who convert from Islam and offer an open testimony can face threats of beating and killings, especially from their families and communities. If their conversion becomes known, all official documents including marriage certificates, mortgages, etc. they have signed will automatically become invalid. Churches that evangelize can face harassment from Jordanian authorities, and church leaders who support converts from Islam risk pressure and suspicion.
Outside forces also have an impact on life for Christians within Jordan. Radicalized Muslims who fought in Iraq and Syria have returned home, and a number of highly conservative Muslim teachers influenced from surrounding countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, are potentially a danger to Christians and other minority groups in Jordan. The Jordanian government is so concerned that it monitors sermons in mosques to try to prevent extremism from rising.
Converts from Islam have the highest level of vulnerability in Jordan. Additionally, social control tends to be higher in rural areas, and the southern region is 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.”
As usual, little has changed in Jordan this year. Many Christians continue to worship freely, benefitting from Jordan's global reputation as a tolerant society. But other Christians remain relegated to the shadows, knowing their faith is enough to bring threats and ongoing pressure.
Open Doors works with local partners in Jordan to raise prayer and support Christians through training, relief aid and rehabilitation projects.
- Praise God that Christians have more freedom in Jordan than elsewhere in the region. Ask God to continue to change hearts and minds so every believer can worship freely.
- Ask God to make His presence known to Jordanian Christians who have followed Jesus out of Islam. That these believers will know that they are not alone.
- Pray that God would open doors for Christians to share their faith safely and wisely.
Dear Father, we pray for Christians in Jordan. First, God, we thank You that many of Your people in Jordan are able to worship You freely. But we pray for those who don't have that same freedom, particularly for those who have found You out of Islam. We pray for protection, for strength, for patience and for courage. We ask these things for our brothers and sisters in the Holy Name of Jesus, Amen.