Jordan (MNN) – Life as a Christian in Jordan has its ups and downs. Jordan is a Middle Eastern country bordering Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. Its official religion is Islam, but Christianity has been in the country since the 1st century.
“If someone wants to really live as a real Christian, a true Christian…he needs really to have courage, wisdom, and patience,” George*, a Jordanian Christian, says.
Here is the thing about living in Jordan; religion plays a large role in society. A person’s religion is listed on official documents and IDs. Since Jordan’s official religion is Islam, a Muslim who converts to Christianity is subject to Islamic Law.
Therefore, leaving the Islamic faith could have repercussions. However, Christians and other minorities are provided the right to practice their religion freely.
Still, George mentions how living as a Christian in an Islamic country can sometimes present fewer moral challenges than perhaps in other areas of the world.
“Practically speaking, because of history, Islam took a lot of ethical and moral teaching of Judaism and Christianity…In the moral life, it’s easier for us to live here as Christians,” George says.
“We are not the same. We do not hold to the same doctrine [as Islam] and some main things, but still, not far from us in terms of morality.”
In a country that identifies with Islam, George says many Christians first draw their identity from Christ, and then as a Jordanian second. For George, this means loyalty to Jesus Christ comes first in his life, then loyalty to his country, to which he is proud to identify as a Jordanian.
“I think this is the same everywhere. Or at least it should be the same everywhere for Christians,” George says.
The Land of Opportunity
Some Christians have come to live in the Middle Eastern region because it is a place of opportunity when it comes to faith. George says Jordanian Christians also try to and should look at their homeland in a similar light. While Christians in Jordan do enjoy some liberties, many give their struggles and challenges to God. Rather than rallying against the difficulties they face; these Christians prefer to lay their burdens at Christ’s feet and walk in faith and ministry.
Please, would you pray for your brothers and sisters living in Jordan? Pray for their encouragement, courage, wisdom, and patience to persevere in their faith.
“We don’t want really anybody to try…to save us…We want really God to do this work because we know that if God does it, it will continue to happen,” George says.
Want a tangible way to support Christians in Jordan? Then give to Program for Theological Education by Extension. PTEE exists to train Church leaders at an affordable cost throughout the Arab world. Help PTEE train leaders in Jordan.
To give or learn more about PTEE, click here.
*Name changed for security.
Header photo courtesy of PTEE.