Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said
Similar to other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, the experience of Christians in Oman may vary depending on their status and nationality. Omani nationals who convert from Islam to Christianity encounter the highest levels of pressure from both their families and their surrounding society. Omani believers may be kicked out of their family homes and lose their jobs. They can lose custody of their children and be stripped of their inheritance.
Foreign Muslims (mostly migrant workers) who convert to Christianity usually experience the same pressure they would in their home countries—so for some converts, it can mean immense persecution, while others experience relative freedom. Meanwhile, expatriate Christian communities are mostly tolerated, but church facilities are restricted and Christian meetings are monitored to record any political statements—and to see if any Omani nationals are attending. All religious organizations must be registered with the authorities.
Oman rose eight spots on this year’s World Watch List. Christians, especially converts from Islam to Christianity, came under higher pressure after the Omani government intensified its monitoring of Christians and their activities. Additionally, violence rose in Oman as several Christians were forced to leave the country. Life for any Muslim convert in Oman is likely to be extremely difficult.
Omani society is still very tribal—so converts to Christianity from Islam are viewed as traitors to their families and to their tribes. This reality is mores stark in rural areas, while in urban areas some converts can live more anonymously.
Open Doors raises prayer support for Christians and churches in Oman.