The 555 Challenge: A Story of Persecution in Oman
There are a few countries on the World Watch List that we can’t share stories from. Even if we were to use different names, the Christian population is so small, that the story could easily be traced back to the individual. For their security, we are providing a different way to pray for the country this week. Here are the top 10 things to know about what life is like for Christians in Oman: The law prohibits religious discrimination but all religious organizations must register. All public school curriculums (grades K-12) include instruction in Islam. Almost the entire Christian population (around 35,000) is made up of expatriates; indigenous Christians number only a few hundred. Foreign Christians are often tolerated and allowed to worship in private homes or work compounds. The government records religious affiliation on national identity cards for citizens and on residency cards for non-citizens. Muslim Background Believers (MBBs) risk persecution from family and society, but the government may intervene on request from the family. In such cases, these believers are often treated as psychiatric patients. MBBs can lose their family, house, and job and can even be killed. There are some government limitations on proselytizing and printing religious material. Non-Muslim groups are prohibited from publishing religious material, although non-Muslim religious material printed abroad may be imported after government inspection and approval. The Protestant Church in Oman (PCO) is the fruit of the active presence of RCA, a branch of the Reformed Church of America (RCA), which started its work in Oman in 1893. Currently PCO, under the combined leadership of the Reformed Church of America and the Anglican Church, ministers to over 1000 believers from 60 countries.