Updated: Feb 9, 2020
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.
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.
Jordan Photo Gallery
Stories from Jordan
January 15, 2020
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
August 28, 2017
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