The legal system names all citizens as Muslim and all legislation is based on Islamic law. Apostasy is not a criminal offence, but Omani converts face legal discrimination and could lose their family, job, or even their life if their faith is discovered. Almost the entire Christian population is expatriate; there are few indigenous Christians. All religious organisations must register and Christian meetings are monitored. Several foreign workers were deported in 2011 because of their Christian activities.
- That the few indigenous believers will find ways to meet for fellowship
- Open evangelism is prohibited by law. Pray for wisdom for Christians sharing the gospel
- Permission is needed from the authorities for the distribution of religious literature. Pray that God’s Word will spread through Christian TV and internet sites.
There has been no visible change in recent years in the situation for Christians in Oman. Islam is the state religion and Sharia (Islamic law) forms the basis for legislation. The very concept of a change of faith for an Omani citizen is anathema. An Omani convert faces problems under the Personal Status and Family Legal Code, which prohibits a father from having custody of his children if he leaves Islam.
All religious organisations must register and Christian meetings are monitored for political messages and nationals who may be attending. Although no violent persecution has been reported, there have been deportations of expat Christians in the past. This was primarily because of their open witness, which is prohibited by law. Permission is needed from the authorities for the distribution of religious literature also.
- The law prohibits religious discrimination but all religious organizations must register.
- All public school curriculums (grades K-12) include instruction in Islam.
- Almost the entire Christian population (around 35,000) is made up of expatriates; indigenous Christians number only a few hundred.
- Foreign Christians are often tolerated and allowed to worship in private homes or work compounds.
- The government records religious affiliation on national identity cards for citizens and on residency cards for non-citizens.
- Muslim Background Believers risk persecution from family and society, but the government may intervene on request from the family. In such cases, these believers are often treated as psychiatric patients.
- Muslim Background Believers can lose their family, house, and job and can even be killed.
- There are some government limitations on proselytizing and printing religious material. Non-Muslim groups are prohibited from publishing religious material, although non-Muslim religious material printed abroad may be imported after government inspection and approval.
- The Protestant Church in Oman (PCO) is the fruit of the active presence of RCA, a branch of the Reformed Church of America (RCA), which started its work in Oman in 1893.
- Currently PCO, under the combined leadership of the Reformed Church of America and the Anglican Church, ministers to over 1000 believers from 60 countries.
Indonesian Christians Singing at PCO (Protestant Church in Oman)