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Oman Facts

Score: 57 / 100
Region: Middle East
Persecution Type: Islamic Oppression
Persecution Level: High
Population: 4,741,000
Christians: 204,000
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Absolute Monarchy
Leader: Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said

Profile of Persecution Methodology

Violence 7%
Church Life 75%
National Life 56%
Community Life 59%
Family Life 73%
Private Life 72%

Where Persecution Comes From

In this Gulf country, Islam dominates Oman’s society, politics and legal system. What sets it apart from neighboring countries is the dominance of Ibadism, an Islamic sect known for its relative tolerance. Because of this, Christians and even converts from Islam are not subjected to violence. However, because tribe and religion in Oman are interconnected, leaving Islam is seen as a betrayal of both tribe and family. Thus, those who convert to Christianity face pressure to return to Islam. While the Omani government actively promotes religious tolerance, its laws are still based on Sharia law—allowing freedom of religion only when it does not violate established customs, policy or morals.

How Christians are Suffering

While expatriate Christian communities in Oman are tolerated, all religious organizations must be registered with authorities. To avoid offending nationals, facility use is restricted, and authorities monitor Christian meetings for political content and attendance among Omani citizens. It’s also difficult to build and register new churches here, and Christians who come into contact with Muslims can be accused of proselytism. Christian persecution exists in the form of home eviction, job termination, discrimination, harassment and bullying pressures converts to recant their faith. Legal discrimination, particularly in the form of custody rights favoring Muslims, adds to this pressure.

Examples

Public proselytizing is forbidden; evangelism can only be done in private.

While the government pays the salaries of some Sunni imams, it does not pay Shia (Muslims in the second-largest branch of Islam) or non-Muslim religious leaders.

Non-Muslim religious groups are required to register with the government, which then approves and controls their ability to lease buildings.

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Pray for Oman

  • Only a handful of believers live in Oman. Pray that God will soften the hard, dry ground of this country’s spiritual climate and pour out His Spirit on the nation.
  • Thank the Lord for faithful tentmakers that persevere in serving the Lord in Oman under difficult circumstances. They often lack fellowship with other Christians and feel lonely, sometimes even forgotten, by the “free” part of the Body of Christ. Pray that they will be encouraged.
  • Thank the Lord for Omani believers who have recognized the Lord Jesus as the Son of God and their king. Pray for boldness to share their new life in Him. Also pray for the protection of these newborn believers and those who share with them the riches of the gospel.

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