OVERVIEW: Oman is ruled by a sultan, who has granted a certain degree of freedom of religion during his reign, even financing the construction of four Catholic and Protestant churches as well as several Hindu temples. Omani society is progressive and open compared with that of some of its neighbors. However, there are very few Omani Christians in the country, and they must meet in homes and keep their faith secret because it is illegal to leave Islam.
MAJOR RELIGIONS: Nearly all Omanis are Muslims, including around 70 percent Ibadi Muslims, with the remainder being a mix of Sunni and Shiite Muslims.
PERSECUTOR: Family members and communities pressure those who convert from Islam to Christianity, and the government will intervene if Christian converts become well known or cause shame in their community.
WHAT IT MEANS TO FOLLOW CHRIST IN OMAN: The few known Christians of Omani background must worship in absolute secrecy and maintain their Islamic identity in public. Foreign Christians are permitted to meet, but they are not allowed to meet in homes or to evangelize other Omanis. Both the Omani church and expatriate Christians face the dilemma of whether to obey the government or to obey the commands of Christ.
ACCESS TO BIBLES: The Bible Society is allowed to sell Bibles and Christian literature inside the country, but Bibles cannot be sold to Omanis. There is only one Christian bookstore, in Oman’s capital, but Omanis can easily access digital and audio Bibles online.
VOM WORK: VOM provides Christian materials to workers to distribute inside the country and helps with the training of local believers in evangelism and discipleship.