Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said
PROFILE OF PERSECUTION
Church Life 13.4/16.7
National Life 13.2/16.7
Community Life 10.3/16.7
Family Life 14.0/16.7
Private Life 13.8/16.7
What does persecution look like in Oman?
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.
What has changed this year?
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.
Who is most vulnerable to persecution?
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.
What does Open Doors do to help?
Open Doors raises prayer support for Christians and churches in Oman.
Population statistic: Johnson T M and Zurlo G A, eds., World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed April 2021).
Pray for Oman
So many Christians in Oman come from other countries and live and work as migrant workers. Pray for these believers, that they would be able to find a community of faith and would know they aren’t alone, even if they are converts from Islam or another faith.
Ask God to change the hearts of the Sultan and the other leaders of Oman. We know God can do anything, including reaching the powerful leader of Oman with the hope of the gospel.
When an Omani Muslim finds Jesus, it could cost him or her everything. Ask God to bless these converts, preserve their safety and to bring other believers into their paths that will help them grow in faith.
Stories from Oman
January 18, 2021
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May 19, 2020
Don’t waste COVID-19: Lessons from believers in the Arabian Peninsula
March 6, 2020
A ‘living death’: How Christian women experience persecution