A new church inaugurated in Jordan

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A new church inaugurated in Jordan

By Fr. Rif'at Bader from Barcelona

On the day following the stoning of the St. Theresa of Child Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Zarqa, the first Mass was celebrated in Marj Al Hamam, Amman, at the new Latin Patriarchate Church whose cornerstone was laid nearly 10 years ago.

The construction of a new church is neither a novel nor an extraordinary issue, for hardly a year goes by without having a church or two inaugurated, further to the churches which have been erected like a beautiful forest at the Baptism Site. This issue is guaranteed by the constitution which openly states that respect for religious rites of all the components of the Jordanian society is guaranteed.

What is novel today, that has a great significance, is giving the church a name that evokes pride. It is the Martyrs of Jordan Church. This name was chosen without any hesitation, equivocation or rather prevarication.

The word martyrs refers to those who died on the Jordanian land in defence of their faith where some of them were Romanian soldiers who opted to espouse the new religion in lieu of their paganism as well as of the worship of emperors and their idols.

What is novel in this respect, or rather what is not novel is for those who fairly read history and for not being satisfied with the school curricula in all parts of the Arab homeland which obliterate the landmarks in the religious map of the region by referring to the Roman era and then proceeding to events without mentioning the land that had been imbued with the blood of martyrs and saints.

Thus, this is Martyrs of Jordan Church--which celebrated its first Mass with verses from the Bible read out… with the fumes of incense rising in solemn evening prayers, in a Ramadan atmosphere-- which calls on the Almighty God not to have the blood of the martyrs wasted, but rather serve as a source of wealth which further cements national cohesion and partnership in humanity.

From the heart of Amman, Philadelphia,--the city of brotherly love and one of the ten cities which Christ and his companions had toured--the voices of bishops, priests and the believers rose their voices saying: O God, do perpetuate the blessing of security, safety, and faith. God save our King and the people of this dear homeland. Oh God, consolidate our national unity, and let the religion that had been imbued with innocent blood--since the early days of Christianity--serve as a factor conducive to reconciliation and peace, rather than dissent and strife. Amen.

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