Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader addresses the National Islamic-Christian Feast of the Annunciation

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Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader addresses the National Islamic-Christian Feast of the Annunciation

Amman-en.abouna.org

During the celebration marking the National Islamic-Christian Feast of the Annunciation which was held on Wednesday, March 27, at the Royal Cultural Center, Director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader delivered the following address:

His Excellency Dr. Raja'i Mu'asher, representative of the patron of the ceremony Prime Minister Dr. Omar Al-Razzaz,

Their Excellencies grand bishops and representatives of Churches, ambassadors, and sheiks,

Dear guests,

I would like to welcome you on the second ceremony in a row in Jordan marking the Feast of Annunciation which is highly revered in the two fraternal religions, namely Islam and Christianity.

We gather this evening as a family characterized by unity and cordiality, as well as in an atmosphere of harmony to confirm our historical Jordanian constants, namely that religion is in the service of peace and harmony and that it can only be used to maintain harmony among people. In this context, we highly salute all sincere Jordanian efforts conducted by official and popular sides over the past years, as the Kingdom which is a few months away from marking its centennial anniversary, particularly during the reign of His Majesty King Abdullah II. How impressive it is that our celebration takes place, in cooperation between the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Jordan and the Council of Heads of Churches in our beloved country, and coinciding with the 15th anniversary of the Kingdom’s issuance of the historic Amman Message, which elucidated the true religious teachings.

Brothers, we meet today to mark two prizes, namely the Templeton Prize which was awarded to His Majesty King Abdullah a few weeks ago and the Lamp of Peace Prize which he will receive in Assisi shortly. The two prizes have great significances as they reflect the bright image of Jordan in the world. The first one is the Templeton Prize is the interfaith dialogue prize. The interfaith dialogue is not only flourishing in Jordan, as it conveyed messages to the entire world as it has been Hashemite in mentality, Jordanian in issuance, and global in application. The second prize is the Lamp of Peace Prize (La Lampada di Pace) is awarded because Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty the King, opted for a peaceful path which made us thank the Almighty God day and night for the blessing of security and stability as well as the best option, namely dialogue.

We wish the best for our country at a time when we are positive and optimistic about the future. Let us wish the best for our brethren and the entire international community. Let us renounce terror in New Zealand, Nigeria and in other countries of the world as well as seek safety for noble Jerusalem so as to remain the capital of humanity and the capital of the Arab Palestinian state. As for its holy places, they are under the protection and custodianship of His Majesty, the Hashemite, may God protect him. Any change that could be effected with regards to the status quo of the Holy City or the Hashemite custodianship impinges on red lines and we all say in concord with His Majesty the King: No. We also hope that Pope Francis' visit to the Kingdom of Morocco, to take place after two days, will be successful as has been the case with his visit to the United Arab Emirates two months ago where he signed the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together.

His Excellency the prime minster,

Dear guests,

I convey to you a heartfelt gratitude for patronizing this ceremony today. I also welcome the delegation from Beirut, which is hosting nowadays youths of the world and which has celebrated the Feast of Annunciation for the 13th successive year. We also welcome Advisor of the Lebanese President for Interfaith Affairs Mr. Naji Khoury, His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Mohamed Al-Nuqqari, Mr. Munir Jaber and journalist Amal Shalhoub of the National News Agency.

Many thanks to all those who helped us in today’s ceremony. Thanks to Jordan Caritas, Imseeh Jewelry, the Jordan Tourism Board. Many thanks go to the Ministry of Culture and the Royal Cultural Center. We announce today the launching of the Annual Annunciation Prize, which is dedicated this year to two leading institutions in the field of interfaith dialogue and for drawing the faithful closer to one another in the faith in God. The prize will awarded this year to the Ecumenical Community Center--which is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church and administered by Pastor Samer Azar--in appreciation of the blessed efforts exerted in promoting culture particularly the culture of encounter and dialogue. The second prize will be awarded to the Religious Solidarity Initiative which seeks to instill sound culture among followers of religions. I also convey greetings to the Dr. Bayan Shboul as the prizes are her brainchild.

I welcome our friends, the dear ambassadors, their excellencies and beatitudes.
Best wishes for the Templeton Prize, Lamp of Peace Prize, and the Annunciation Prize.
Have a happy Annunciation anniversary. Many Jordan remain safe, happy anniversary to humanity.

Peace be upon you.

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