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Religion in Jordan

Population

In 2019, Jordan had an average population density of 112 residents per km2, but since about 90 percent of the country's area consists of desert, the geographical distribution is very uneven. The northwestern parts, where the water supply is relatively good, are the most densely populated areas. The urbanization rate is high (90 percent) and is accelerated by a large relocation from the countryside. About 15 percent of the population lives in the capital Amman.

Religions of Jordan

According to Countryaah data, Jordan, in 1988, formally renounced its territorial claims to the West Bank occupied by Israel, thereby reducing its population by 0.8 million Palestinians. But even after this measure, the Palestinian share of Jordan's population amounts to 60 percent.

At independence in 1946, Jordan was a state with a predominantly Bedouin population. This was changed by the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, which led to Jordan incorporating the West Bank and its Palestinian peasant population, and receiving a large number of Palestinian refugees from Israel. Nearly 2 million Iraqi refugees have come to Jordan during the 2000s.

The distinction between original Jordanians and people of Palestinian origin is an important domestic political issue. Despite the dominance of the latter, most of the leading positions are occupied by Jordanians. The population also consists of minor minorities of tares, Armenians, Drusians, Turkmen and Bahai. The number of Bedouins has decreased drastically.

Language

The official language is Arabic. Dominant spoken languages are different varieties of New Arabic, especially southern Latin Arabic. The largest minority language is Cherkessian.

Religion

About 90% of Jordan's population is Muslims, of which over 80% are Sunnis. There are small groups of Shiites, Drusians and Baha'is. A Christian minority of 5-6% of the population belongs to various oriental churches (Armenian-Orthodox, Syrian-Orthodox, Coptic) or United Churches (Melkite or Greek-Catholic, Syrian-Catholic), but also Roman-Catholic, Greek-Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran churches are represented in the country.

Islam is state religion. Jordan is not an Islamic state, but religion plays an important role for citizens' identity and in many areas of society. Each religious group has its own rules and courts regarding family law cases (succession law, marriage, etc.). The Muslim Brotherhood has been able to operate relatively openly in Jordan compared to many neighboring countries, where the organization has been banned. It is registered as a religious and philanthropic organization but has indirectly exercised political influence by its members taking seats in parliament as representatives of the political party Islamic Action Front (IAF) or as independent candidates. Other militant Islamist organizations, including the Islamic Liberation Party, are not allowed.

Jordan is a Hashimite kingdom, which means that the king is considered to be descended from the same family clan, Hashim, as the Prophet Muhammad. He therefore has the right to bear the title of sharif (Arabic, 'noble', 'exalted'). Relationship is a factor that contributes to the king's legitimacy.

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