Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Tuesday, 23 February 2021

The centenary of common living

By Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader :

In a few weeks we'll celebrate the centenary anniversary of the founding of our beloved Jordan. Since its establishment, Jordan has been well aware that it has a well-defined identity, and that it has a mission which has to be fulfilled for the future generations.


 Its identity lies in its important geographic location as well as its very important religious position since this identity brought about monotheistic messages. Prophet Moses crossed this land and stood on Mount Nebo. Prophet Elijah was born here, in Tishbe, Gilead, and he ascended into heaven in a fiery chariot from Wadi Kharrar. John the Baptist was calling for repentance across Jordan and Lord Jesus Christ was baptized in the waters of a river bearing the name of our beloved country. Here Lord Jesus presented His teachings, and wandered in our cities and villages with His Virgin Mother, Blessed Mary, Lady of the Mount, and performed numerous miracles by healing the sick and exorcising demons. Innumerable groups of pilgrims and worshippers flocked to Jordan and visited churches decorated with mosaics with inscribing that read, "This people love Christ." There are sites that manifest the history of the disciples who lives in this land and crossed it.


The Jordanian people realize that the close  locations of Christian and Islamic archaeological sites should deepen human cohesion, especially at a time when we have a wise Hashemite leadership that has taken upon itself the duty to export the Jordanian message through sophisticated and positive initiatives, which have turned into work plans and global roadmaps on the path to attain greater global human solidarity.


Dialogues and conferences began in the 1980s on the soil of the Holy Land of Jordan, and many initiatives were launched, the most important of which were the 2004 Amman Message, the 2007 a Common Word Between Us and You, the 2010 World Interfaith Harmony Week, and the “2013 Challenges Facing Arab Christians" Conference. Jordan was a destination for several papal visits. In 1964, Pope Paul VI was welcomed by King Hussein Bin Talal, may his soul rest in peace, who said: “We must secure a prosperous future for all the children of Abraham.” Pope John Paul II visited Jordan in 2000, while Pope Benedict XVI visited Jordan in 2009, and Pope Francis visited Jordan in 2014. The three popes visited Jordan during the reign of His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, who received honorable international awards in the field of human fraternity, dialogue and peace. The most important of these awards are the 2005 First Pope John Paul II Peace Prize at an international event in Washington, the 2018 Templeton Prize, and the 2019 Lamp of Peace Award in Assisi. It is also important to note the role played by His Majesty the King as the custodian of the holy sites in Noble Jerusalem.


We are on the threshold of Jordan's centenary, and we are certain that this identity and this message have become central on the map of global reconciliation, especially after the United Nations adopted the World Interfaith Harmony Week in 2010. We have disseminated the "Harmony Week" initiative, as we realize that harmony is a life project parctised weekly, and is a daily program entrenched by the Jordanians through their cohesion and brotherhood. His Majesty the King addressed Church leaders on several occasions saying: “Jordanians form one family in their cohesion and belonging, and they work hand-in-hand, in the serve of the homeland."


Consequently, the Jordanians worship God in their houses of worship, and they live in complete harmony in their societies. They are only disturbed by what harms their national unity which they consider as more valuable than the treasures of the world. Therefore, they adhere to their sacred identity and their universal human message. In the coming days, God willing, we will talk about how to jointly plan to be constructive in the new centenary of our homeland based on the initiatives we have accomplished in the new centenary, and about what form of harmony we want to develop in the new century.