Jordan- King meets local, Jerusalemite Christian clerics, figures

(MENAFN- Jordan News Agency) Dead Sea, Dec. 17 (Petra) -- His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday met at the Baptism Site with Christian clerics, dignitaries and leaders from the Kingdom and Jerusalem on the occasion of the Christmas and New Year.

His Majesty the King congratulated the Christian community in Jordan and Palestine and in the Arab world on the feasts and stressed Muslim-Christian fraternity in the Kingdom which sets a model for harmony and coexistence.

During the meeting, held over a lunch banquet His Majesty hosted in honor of the attendance, King Abdullah voiced support for the Christians in the Holy Land in their efforts to safeguard their holy sanctities and property. He also expressed of Jerusalem's churches and Islamic Awqaf (endowments) for their adherence to the al-Uhda al-Umariyya (Pact of Umar) which laid down the foundations of coexistence and peace.

King Abdullah also affirmed that the right of Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem is eternal, saying: "We will continue our historical duty, which dates back to our great grandfather, Sharif Hussein bin Ali, to protect and care for holy sites in Jerusalem." In turn, the representatives of the Islamic Awqaf and Jerusalem Churches expressed their appreciation for His Majesty's efforts to defend Jerusalem and to strengthen the steadfastness of its people, in his capacity as custodian of Jerusalem's Muslim and Christian holy sites.

They reiterated their rejection of the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. They emphasized that the decision is illegal, undermines peace and runs contrary to Christian teachings.

They also paid tribute to His Majesty's speech at the recent OIC Summit, and his affirmation that the right of Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem is eternal. They appealed to His Majesty to address the United Nations, UNESCO and other international bodies on behalf of all churches.

The speakers condemned any attempts to Judaize Jerusalem or obliterate its Arab identity. The speakers included His Eminence Bishop Pierre Batista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Kyrios Kyrios Theophilos III, Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine and Jordan, Director-General of Jerusalem Awqaf and Al Aqsa Affairs Sheikh Azzam Khatib, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan Munib Younan and member of the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Dima Karadsheh.

The meeting was attended by King's Personal Envoy and Advisor for Religious and Cultural Affairs, HRH Prince Ghazi bin Mohammad, the prime minister, the chief of the Royal Court, a number of ministers and other top officials.

17/12/2017 - 07:22:46 PM


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