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Jordan

Jordan is a place where Jesus and His disciples walked, and its Biblical heritage extends back even to the time of the patriarchs. But today this legacy is more of a tourist attraction than an indication of a vibrant Christian community.

 

 Jordan_Mount Nebo
Mount Nebo, Jordan

Jordan is often seen as an oasis of peace and tolerance for Christians, compared to some other Middle Eastern countries. Seats are reserved in parliament for them, and they have a strong presence in the business community. But Jordan is not as free and tolerant as is generally assumed. Islam is the state religion, and although the Jordanian monarchy styles itself as the protector of the country’s Christian minority, for many years Christians have been emigrating to the West. The size of the Christian minority is now estimated to be just 1.5-3% of the population.

Muslims who convert to Christianity face the greatest problems. Even though neither the constitution, nor the penal code, nor the civil law ban conversion from Islam, the government in practice forbids it, since the personal status of Muslims is governed by sharia law. Evangelising amongst Muslims is also prohibited. If someone files a complaint of apostasy against converts, they may be deprived of their civil rights and lose their families and property.

Some converts have reported being summoned and questioned by the security services, threatened with court and other actions, and offered rewards for denouncing their conversion. These converts also reported that the authorities withheld from them certificates of good behaviour, which are needed for job applications or opening a business, and told employers to fire them. Converts are often socially ostracised, and some have reported facing threats and physical and verbal abuse from their families and Muslim religious leaders.

Although the heads of Jordan’s recognised Christian denominations advise the government and administer all official matters relating to Christians, the authorities continue to treat Christian converts as Muslims rather than as Christians under the law, and this has serious implications for inheritance and other matters. Similarly, some Christian denominations are officially recognised and enjoy a good measure of freedom. But other Christian groups are registered as “societies”, and by law they need government approval for their budget as well as other administrative restrictions.

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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Daily prayer

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  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 14 hours ago

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

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