Persecuted Christians in Jordan Persevere

Distraught, a Syrian refugee in Jordan whose wife divorced him for accepting Christ went to a quiet spot at his workplace to pray, unaware that there were security cameras in the room.

Joram Samaan* was supporting himself and his two children, ages 3 and 5, by working at a restaurant.

“His wife left him with the two children because he was an ‘infidel’ and therefore so were his children,” the leader of a native ministry said. “He went to live with his mother, but his ex-wife quickly told his whole family about him and his faith, and he was kicked out.”

Samaan found an apartment and the means to survive working at the nearby restaurant, and neighbors helped look after his children while he was at work. He came to faith three years ago after arriving in Jordan, but recently the deep sense of loss struck him as he was working, and he sought out the secluded place to pray.

“His wife left him with the two children because he was an ‘infidel’ and therefore so were his children.”

“He did not notice that there were cameras in the room, and he made a cross sign while praying,” the ministry leader said. “The owner of the restaurant saw the footage and fired him on the spot.”

In Syria he had lived in an area where there were many Christians, and he was constantly surprised by the love they showed him even though he was Muslim, the leader said. Despite having grown up hearing that Christians were deplorable and bent on harming Muslims, Samaan found they were actually good and peaceable.

He learned the gospel from them, and upon arrival in Jordan he felt comfortable seeking out Christian groups and programs.

“He met with a priest and explained to him that God spoke to him with dreams,” the leader said. “This confirmed to Samaan that he was on the path of truth.”

Soon after putting his faith in Christ, however, the Muslim opposition began, leading to the loss of his job earlier this year.

“The job market in Jordan is very bad to begin with, but it is nearly impossible as a single dad with a destroyed reputation,” the ministry leader said. “He will not give up the search, but the situation gets worse everyday. We help him with living monthly expenses.”

Spiritual Support

The native ministry provides aid to Samaan as both a refugee and a persecuted Christian, as it does to other persecuted Christians.

The assistance includes spiritual support, such as the discipling that a 35-year-old refugee from Iraq needed. Fadhil* had faced hostilities in his home country when he objected to the hatred and violence he saw between Shiites and Sunnis, and because he accepted people regardless of their religion or ethnic make-up, Muslims accused him of having left Islam – a despised “infidel.”

When three politicians seeking election sought to place their photos on aid trucks of the human rights organization for which he worked, Fadhil refused to let vehicles delivering aid to the poor to be used for propaganda. The politicians lost the election, threatened him and detained and beat him for three months.

With a broken nose and other injuries, he fled Iraq to Jordan in 2016, the ministry leader said.

“In Jordan, he began to research Christianity freely and found the thought and principles in harmony with his thought and principles – he found mercy, love and tolerance,” he said. “He told his family that he had found the truth in Christianity and that he had left the false religion, so they fought him and cut off contact and material assistance from him.”

Fadhil entered into a dark season that continued into a state of severe depression, including cutting himself with a knife. A visit to a psychiatrist who prescibed psychotropic medications only worsened his mental condition, and he became alienated from friends.

“I alone was the only one left to speak with him and relieve his suffering, but since Fadhil began coming to the church, he has become better and better,” the leader said.

Christian workers are providing material and spiritual support to persecuted Christians and refugees throughout Jordan. Please consider a donation today to help them bring Christ’s love to hurting souls.

*Names changed for security reasons

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