Jordan (al Urdunn) is one of the commonly mentioned localities in the Bible. We read about it in the New Testament when John the Baptist baptized people unto repentance in the Jordan River (Nahr al-Urdunn) (Matthew 3:5-6; Mark1:5; Luke 3:3; John1:28), and when Christ went into the wilderness (the Eastern border of Jordan) for forty days. Prior to the New Testament era, Jordan was the dwelling place for the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, and other kingdoms that lived in that area. It is the wilderness that the Israelites went through in their journey to Canaan.
Christian communities in Jordan are as old as Christianity itself. Pella, a city in northwestern Jordan, was a center of refuge for Christians fleeing persecution in Rome during the first century A.D. The main religious entities that are identified with Christianity are Eastern and Western Catholicism and the Greek Orthodoxy. The earliest evangelical Christians can be traced back to the 1940s, when missionaries from the U.S. came to Jordan and worked under the umbrella of humanitarian organizations. Now, Evangelicalism in Jordan consists of Baptists, Nazarenes, the Evangelical Free church, the Assembly of God, and the Christian Missionary Alliance.
Over the past fifty years, Jordan’s Christian population has dropped from approximately 5% of the population in 1970 to the current estimated 1.9%. This decrease is due mostly to the substantial increase in Christian immigration to the West, and the low birth rate of Christians in comparison to Muslims. With regard to the Middle East in general, the increase of immigration among Christians is primarily the result of the rise of militant radical Islamic movements like Al-Qaeda and ISIS. However, Christians in Jordan still enjoy a relatively high level of religious freedom and amicable relationships with their Muslim neighbors.