Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Makram Al-Qaisi patronized the opening session of the General Assembly of the National Association of Directors of Christian Pilgrimage in France (ANDDP) conference which kicked off at the Baptism Site on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 in the presence 175 French pilgrimage directors.
In an opening address, Al-Qaisi said, "Holding this conference in Jordan enriches religious tourism, enhances Christian pilgrimage, and other various trips to Jordan." He pointed out that "choosing Jordan to be the venue of this conference confirms its Christian religious status, as well as demonstrates the support it receives from the ANDDP and the friendly country of France." He noted that the conference will support the marketing strategy and its effect on increasing the number of tourists.
Bishop Jean-Marie Le Vert of Bordeaux said, "Jordan's record abounds with a long history of common living and religious tolerance which has made it distinctive in the Middle East and a model for French pilgrims." While Fr. Jacky Marie, president of the National Association of Directors of Diocesan Pilgrimages, said that the Jordanian will calls for preserving peace in the region, and this is what made followers of religions live safely and harmoniously.
For his part, Director General of the Baptism Site Commission Rustom Mkhjian said that this conference comes on the heels of the strenuous efforts to promote Christian religious sites in Jordan, especially the Baptism Site of Lord Jesus Christ, and a continuation of joint efforts conducted since 2019 with our partners, namely the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Jordan Tourism Board, the Catholic Center for Studies and Media, and the Embassy of Jordan in France, as the focus at that time was directed on attracting religious tourism through cooperation with the ANDDP directors in France.
Mr. Mkhjian presented a briefing on the most important Christian sites in Jordan, including the Baptism Site of Lord Jesus Christ, which has received Hashemite care and guardianship since its rediscovery in 1995, and that is characterized by the important messages it conveys such as inter-faith harmony, as well as building bridges of love and peace for the entire humanity.
The functionaries of the ANDDP conference, which lasts until November 18, include launching future activities in the Holy Land of Jordan, as well as conducting visits to various religious and archaeological sites.