The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan forms part of the Holy Land, and as in Judaism and Islam, the Holy Land is central to the Christian faith. Jordan is home to the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic patriarchal churches of Jerusalem as well as Armenian, Coptic, Chaldean, Greek Melkite, Latin, Maronite and Syriac Catholics, and other evangelical and Orthodox communities. Roughly 2.2% of the 7.9 million people in Jordan are Christians. Jordan has been a refuge and haven for Christians fleeing religious persecution in the Middle East for decades.
Despite their tolerant society, Jordan has not avoided the consequences of regional conflicts. Over 660,000 refugees have arrived in Jordan from Northern Iraq and Syria. Christians who have fled to Jordan as refugees are not registering or living in camps because they fear persecution. Many refugees are being helped by Jordanian churches, which simply do not have enough resources to help them all.
The King of Jordan has been outspoken about protecting Christians, and for the region Jordanians are relatively tolerant. However Christian communities are not completely free from danger and persecution in Jordan. Jordan’s state religion is Islam, and sharia has primacy for Muslims in matters of personal or family status, which means that when one party is Muslim the case is decided according to Sharia, resulting in discrimination against Christians.
In addition, extremism has risen in Jordan; over 2,000 Jordanians have left to join extremist groups and there have been recent terror attacks in the country. While the terror attacks in Jordan are not directly targeting Christians, the rise in terrorism and the flow of Jordanians to become foreign fighters highlight a disturbing trend in Jordanian society that could affect Christians and other religious minorities in the future.