02/21/2008, 00.00
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Christian group expelled from Amman, accused of proselytising among the Muslims

They are eight foreign missionaries, believed to have distributed fliers of a religious nature among the Bedouins to whom they were bringing humanitarian aid. The kingdom outlaws proselytism and conversion from Islam. The Council of Churches in Jordan warns: "40 sects" are present.

Amman (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Jordan has expelled a group of Christians accused of carrying out proselytising activities under the cover of humanitarian aid operations.  The foreign minister explained yesterday that "some foreigners arrive in the kingdom under the pretext of charitable activities, but break the law and carry out missionary activities".

According to the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan, the group of eight missionaries was distributing Christian material among the Bedouins to the north and east of the capital Amman.  Their presence was identified by some inhabitants of the place where the group offered humanitarian aid to families and distributed fliers that "promoted Christianity".

Islam is the state religion in Jordan.  The government outlaws conversion from Islam, as well as proselytism among Muslims.  Last week, the Council of Churches in Jordan, which represents the Christian community in the country, warned of the presence of about "40 sects".  It also condemned the actions of these movements, from which it distanced itself, saying that they "create discord within Christianity itself and with the Muslims".

Of a population of 6 million inhabitants, 92% are Muslim, while the Christians represent about 6%.

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