Histone methylation is an important epigenetic modification in chromatin function, genome activity, and gene regulation. Dimethylated or trimethylated histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me2/3) marks silent or repressed genes involved in developmental processes and stress responses in plants. However, the role and the mechanism of the dynamic removal of H3K27me2/3 during gene activation remain unclear. Here, we show that the rice (Oryza sativa) Jumonji C (jmjC) protein gene JMJ705 encodes a histone lysine demethylase that specifically reverses H3K27me2/3. The expression of JMJ705 is induced by stress signals and during pathogen infection. Overexpression of the gene reduces the resting level of H3K27me2/3 resulting in preferential activation of H3K27me3-marked biotic stress-responsive genes and enhances rice resistance to the bacterial blight disease pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pathovar oryzae. Mutation of the gene reduces plant resistance to the pathogen. Further analysis revealed that JMJ705 is involved in methyl jasmonate-induced dynamic removal of H3K27me3 and gene activation. The results suggest that JMJ705 is a biotic stress-responsive H3K27me2/3 demethylase that may remove H3K27me3 from marked defense-related genes and increase their basal and induced expression during pathogen infection.