How many Christians are there in Jordan?
Christians in Jordan are a small minority; of the 10.1 million people living there, Open Doors estimates that there around 180,000 Christians, making up 1.8 per cent of the population.
Why are Christians persecuted in Jordan?
Jordan is a strongly Islamic society. Christians from Muslim backgrounds face the worst persecution as leaving Islam is seen as a source of shame to their families and communities.
“Day by day, God is changing me into the image He wants me to be… The most important thing in my life is now to serve God.” Rami, Jordan
What’s life like for Christians in Jordan?
Christians from Muslim backgrounds often keep their faith a secret and meet together in underground churches. However, these churches are often monitored by the government. If discovered, they face pressure from their families and communities – they may be physically attacked, arrested or lose custody of their children. Conversion from Islam is not officially recognised. And yet, the small number of believers from Muslim backgrounds is growing.
Most Christians in Jordan are from Orthodox or Roman Catholic churches, and they have greater freedom but can still face discrimination, particularly at work. Churches involved in evangelism are monitored by the government and pressured to stop.
Although Rami (25) was from a nominal Christian family in Jordan, he considered himself to be an atheist when he joined the group. And he had a secret agenda, he admits. “I thought I would be able to convince the group of my own ideas, about rejecting God. That is why I joined… During praise time I praised and during prayer time I also seemed to be involved, but deep inside I wanted to convince them that there is no God.
“My act became more and more difficult to uphold, because when meeting with these people I felt a feeling I had never experienced so deeply before - joy. I just couldn’t deny the love the group was showing me.”
Gradually, Rami opened up his heart to God, and during one of the camps he made the decision to follow Jesus Christ. “When I made that decision, I felt a joy and peace I had never felt before. In my old life I experienced what worldly joy means, but now I know the meaning of biblical joy.
“Day by day, God is changing me into the image he wants me to be. He changes my character, he changes my attitude; even my family and parents notice this change in my life. The most important thing in my life is now to serve God.”
How can I help Christians in Jordan?
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.
In cooperation with local partners and churches, Open Doors supports the church in Jordan through training programmes and relief and rehabilitation projects – including Bible study groups for young people.
*Name changed for security reasons
Lord Jesus, thank You that Your church is growing in Jordan. Give believers wisdom to know how to reach out to others with the gospel, and show them how to be Your hands and feet to their families, communities and workplaces. For believers from Muslim backgrounds who lose their families for choosing to follow You, surround them with Your love and a new family who will encourage them in their faith.