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Jordan Facts

Score:64/ 100
Region:Middle East
Persecution Type:Islamic oppression
Persecution Level:Very High
Population:10,070,000
Christians:180,000
Main Religion:Islam
Government:Parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Leader:King Abdullah II

Profile of Persecution

Violence 10%
Church Life 75%
National Life 70%
Community Life 64%
Family Life 85%
Private Life 79%

Discrimination and restrictions

Christians in Jordan enjoy a relatively high level of religious freedom but still experience discrimination in employment and restrictions against public preaching. For example, an open testimony of faith by a Christian convert can lead to physical violence, arrest and even death. Radical Islamic movements are also a source of persecution for Christians and Jordanians of other faiths. The number of Jordanians radicalized by ISIS ideology is rising, which puts Christians at greater risk in this Middle Eastern country.

How Christians are suffering

Islam is the religion of the state, and the Jordanian constitution gives primacy to Sharia law, which plays out in issues of legal rights involving a Muslim and inheritance rights. The state also regards children under 18 years old, whose father has converted to Islam, as Muslims. 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 their conversion is discovered, believers often 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 recognized.

Examples

Violent persecution incidents occurred in Jordan mostly against Christian converts, although Christians active in evangelism were also affected. Details cannot be provided for security reasons.

Population statistic: Johnson T M and Zurlo G A, eds., World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed April 2019).
Number of Christians statistic is an Open Doors estimate.

 

Pray for Jordan

  • Christians in Jordan can be subject to government monitoring, or even Sharia law if they are married to a Muslim, or is in a court dispute with a Muslim. Pray for true religious freedom.
  • Pray that Christians would be beacons of Christ’s love to their Muslim neighbors.
  • Local Christians highlight the fact that social tensions are on the increase due to a large influx of Syrian refugees. There is more pressure on local infrastructure, such as preschools, schools and hospitals, all of which must be shared. Pray that believers are able to share Christ’s love and grace with refugees.
  • Jordan’s economic difficulties could lead to more social and political unrest that could negatively affect Christians and other minorities. Pray for wisdom for government leaders as they work to strengthen the country’s economy.

Stories from Jordan

March 6, 2020

A ‘living death’: How Christian women experience persecution

A new 2020 Open Doors in-depth report focusing on gendered persecution surfaces some disturbing realities for Christian women and girls in the top 50 countries where women are highly persecuted for their decision to follow Jesus. Read More

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January 15, 2020

Every day, 8 Christians killed for their decision to follow Jesus

In-depth research for Open Doors' 2020 World Watch List shows that at least eight Christians, largely in Sub-Saharan Africa, die at the hands of persecutors (extremists, family members and state authorities) each day. Read More

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August 28, 2017

A Jordanian Boutique Clothes Refugees with Dignity

Between 2014-2016, as ISIS’ destructive presence spread through the country of Iraq, many Iraqi Christians fled to neighboring countries in search of safety. These refugees often left everything behind - their homes, jobs, and even clothes - arriving as empty-handed foreigners in a strange land. Read More

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