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Lenten Focus: Jordanian Christians

Photo: Open Doors

Jordan is number 30 on Open Doors World Watch List and is classified as having moderate persecution. When I think of Jordan, I think of a more modern, less restrictive nation. Yet like every other country in the Middle East, it has been affected by the political and religious turmoil.

From Voice of the Martyrs:

Jordan is a significant Middle East power located in the crossroads of the Holy Land and one of only two Arab nations to have made peace with Israel. With few natural resources, it struggles with economic difficulties, unemployment and a burgeoning population. Jordan has taken in more than 600,000 refugees from Syria since 2011. A fresh wave of Iraqi refugees arrived in 2014. The refugee crisis continues to put strain on its already limited natural resources, and the country largely depends on foreign aid. The country continues to strive for regional peace, though it faces a number of security challenges, including a resurgence of Islamic militancy in Iraq.

Islam is the official religion, but the state generally supports religious freedom. The constitution allows citizens to practice religion freely unless it “violates public order or morality or conflicts with Islamic law.” Traditionally, Christians have had few difficulties in Jordan, and even quiet evangelism has been allowed. However, Christians in Jordan, both natives and refugees, increasingly face persecution from their families, employers and society. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of “honor killings” of Christians, wherein a Muslim family kills a Christian family member for leaving Islam. Many traditional Christians have left, but the number of evangelicals continues to grow as people come to Christ.

Prayer Points from Open Doors:

  • For the halt of radical Islam, including the Islamic State
  • For churches working with a large number of refugees from places such as Syria and Iraq
  • That Christians who evangelize Muslims or support Muslim Background Believers will cope with the growing pressure and tensions

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