Hashmite Kingdom of Jordan
World Convention is currently building a global reference for the countries and territories where we know there are Christian – Churches of Christ – Disciples of Christ Congregations. Of the 193 United Nations States, the Stone-Campbell Movement exists in 174. This listing includes other nations and territories, numbering 194 countries where there is at least one representation of our churches.
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Jordan is a small Arab country of 89,000 sq km (34,000 sq miles) that lies between Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria and Iraq. The country has significance to biblical scholars as the historic home of the Ammonites, Amorites, Edomites and Moabites. Throughout its history it has been conquered by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Hittites, Israelites, Persians and Romans. In the seventh century it was invaded by Arabs and subsequent Christian crusades sought to reclaim it. Much of Muslim history of Jordan has been as the result of the Ottoman Turks. The Turks were driven out during the First World War and the British installed Hashemite monarchy in 1921. Jordan became independent in 1946 with King Hussein reigning from 1952 until his death in 1999. The present government is a constitutional monarchy with two legislative bodies, the House of Notables and the House of Representatives. Because of its location in the Middle East Jordan must maintain a delicate balance among Israel, Palestine, Iraq, and other Middle East nations. Arab aid has been vital to the country’s development but the second Gulf War in 1991 overwhelmed the country. Also significant to Biblical scholars is the fact that the Jordan River Valley, the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee and Petra are all within present Jordanian borders.
Only a small percentage of the religious population of Jordan is Christian, about 8%, with the remaining population being Sunni Muslim. The Jordanian Constitution recognizes Islam as the established religion yet forbids religious discrimination thus Christians in Jordan are probably better treated here than in most Muslim countries. However, foreigners who have attempted aggressive evangelism have been expelled.
Beginning in 1963 Evertt L. Huffard of the American a cappella Churches of Christ went to the West Bank (then a part of Jordan) to work among the Arabs there. With the outbreak of war in 1967 and the occupation of the West Bank by Israel some Arab Christians migrated to Amman. However, they did not form a congregation there. Later Evertt relocated to Amman (1976-1979) and gathered the scattered Christians together into a congregation. From 1977-1980 Darrell Denman also worked in Amman and Zerka. While a few Christians are still to be found in Amman today the congregation did not survive. For some time Marion Aldridge conducted Bible correspondence work and made annual visits to Jordan. Nations University reports one student from Jordan currently pursuing online coursework. No American missionaries of the a cappella tradition are presently serving in Jordan. Global Samaritan Resources, an Abilene-based nonprofit supported by Churches of Christ, sent aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan in 2013.
The International Churches of Christ planted the Amman church in 1990.
American Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, through veteran missionaries and educators Harvey and Nancy Bacus, established a Christian Library in Amman, Jordan to provide Christians there with resources and a place to promote East/West understanding.
Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
Revised by Gary Holloway, December 9, 2013
Ross Road Church of Christ
4920 Ross Road, Memphis, TN 38141
Institute for Christian Resources
P.O. Box 7494,
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Harvey and Nancy Bacus
204 North Moffet, Joplin, MO 64801
Telephone: (417) 781-6235