Worldwide Wednesday: Pray for “J” Jordan
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” 1 John 5:14
Welcome to Worldwide Wednesday. Each week during the year of 2017, we are praying through the alphabet. Today we land on “J” and we are going to pray for Jordan. So what is all the fuss about Jordan? Jordan is the land where our founding fathers walked…Abraham, Isaac, Moses. But more than that, the Jordanian society is multi-ethnic – a phenomenon which is also reflected by the monarchy. Jordan hosts large groups of refugees, mostly from Iraq and Syria, which leads to economic, political and religious pressure, all of which is potentially destabilizing. The number of Christians in the country has been declining for half a century. For a long time, Jordan was one of the most liberal countries in the region in terms of freedom of religion. However, the tide seems to be turning for Christians – especially for Christian converts from a Muslim background (MBBs) who suffer the most persecution. Believers here often face interrogations from police or even abduction by family members.
Area: 89,206 sq km
Lies on the eastern bank of the Jordan River. Agriculture and population are concentrated near the river. Most of the country is desert.
Population: 6,472,392 Annual Growth: 3.06%
Largest Religion: Muslim
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Challenges for Prayer
Religious freedom could be a casualty amid rising religious tensions. This nation is a centre for many Christian activities and ministries, and much Christian work in the Middle East would suffer were a setback to occur in Jordan. A number of converts find life difficult – pressure comes from family, work and society. Emigration is often seen as an obvious and safe option. Pray for the freedom to proclaim the gospel and for followers of Jesus to be able to remain in Jordan.
Ministry opportunities for foreign Christians are under threat, but remain important. A crackdown on Islamist extremism resulted in some Christian ministries being shut down and visas denied. Several agencies are involved in a wide range of activities, usually supporting and enhancing the national Church and meeting humanitarian needs. Jordan also hosts a language school wherein many learn Arabic for their service in the Arab world. Pray that these expatriates’ lives may commend the Lord Jesus and gain witness opportunities.
Jordan is categorized as a restricted nation, where Christians are persecuted or oppressed as a result of government policy, and a staggering 14 of the 21 people groups in Jordan have not heard the Gospel. While Islam serves as the official religion, the constitution allows for religious freedom as long as Islamic law and public morality are not violated. Though legally protected, many new followers of Christ are pressured by the Muslim society and emigrate. This results in fewer people remaining to bear witness to the transforming power of the Gospel. While the churches within Jordan generally have good relations with each other, only about ten percent of house churches have meaningful relationships with Muslims. Media ministry is proving to be effective in this nation, specifically Christian satellite TV and radio broadcasts. Pray for the unreached to hear the Good News and be equipped to effectively minister to those around them.