During the 40 days of Lent I’m committed to praying each day for Christians in the 40 countries where the cost of being a follower of Christ is highest. I invite you to do the same. The information on the prayer needs of each country comes from a combination of Open Doors, Barnabas Fund and Operation World.
Today we are praying for Jordan
Known as one of the most Western-orientated countries in the Middle East, the constitution guarantees freedom of religion. However, leaving Islam is prohibited and ‘public proselytism’ of Muslims is against government policy. Muslims who become Christians generally maintain a low profile in order to avoid harassment or interrogation. Two Christians were reported to have been physically harmed or strictly limited in their freedom because of their faith in 2010.
The Challenge for Prayer
King Abdullah’s rule began with promise and hope. But war in Iraq and the resulting turmoil have placed great pressure on the nation. Over a million immigrants fleeing from the two wars in Iraq have intensified Jordan’s economic and political stresses. Half of them still remain. The tourist industry is a bright spot, but Islamist suicide bombings in 2005 demonstrated Jordan’s fragility. Rising tensions between moderate and Islamist sentiments portend further difficulties.
Pray for the peace of this land and for the king and government.
Christians are a community under pressure. Since Jordan’s independence, lower birth rates and high emigration rates have contributed to the Church’s numerical decline. Additionally, a huge influx of Muslim refugees and the rise of politicized Islam place increasing pressure on Christians, especially evangelicals. From 1980-2010, Jordan’s Christian population dropped from 6.5% to 2.2% of the population. Yet, Christians are found in all walks of life, including in Parliament, and often in positions of influence. Christianity needs to be seen as an important component of Jordanian society and history.
Pray that Christians may be salt and light in Jordanian society and find ways to witness to nominal Christians as well as non-Christians.
- For courage and strength for believers who face discrimination from government or society
- That jurisdiction of sharia courts would not be applied to believers from a Muslim background
- For wisdom for expatriate Christians seeking to share their faith with Jordanians.