At the end of World War I the League of Nations placed the territory that is now Israel, Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem under the control of the United Kingdom. In 1921 the British divided the territory, establishing the Emirate of Transjordan, ruled by Prince Abdullah, and Palestine, governed by a British high commissioner. Jordan became independent from Britain in 1946 and in 1950 was renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan following the annexation of the West Bank.
Jordan has played a pivotal role in the struggle for power in the Middle East because of its location at the crossroads of what Christians, Jews and Muslims call the Holy Land.
Islam is the official religion of Jordan, but there is a small Christian minority, including active Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Baptist churches. With the exception of the latter, these churches are members of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), which has a liaison office in Amman. Following the 1991 war in Iraq many Iraqi refugees came to Jordan, where the churches, through the MECC, offer a ministry of compassion.
Partner churches and organizations
The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC)
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been a strong partner and supporter of the work of the MECC since its inception in 1974. The Council includes all four families of churches in the Middle East, i.e., the Eastern Orthodox churches, the Oriental (non-Calcedonian) Orthodox churches, the Catholic churches (Latin and Oriental Rites) and the Evangelical churches (Reformed, Episcopal, Lutheran and Congregational). It works on issues of church unity, Christian presence in the Middle East, justice, peacemaking and reconciliation, dialogue with non-Christian neighbors, education, nurture and renewal, participation of youth, women and children, life and service, and Palestinian refugees and other displaced persons.
Learn more about Jordan
Visit the BBC country profile.
Read about Christians in the Middle East (from the BBC)