[ACNS, by Staff Writer, with additional material from Petra] Primates from around the Anglican Communion began a week-long meeting today with an official audience with King Abdullah II, the King of Jordan. The audience took place at a conference centre near the site of Jesus’ baptism, and was followed by a wider gathering featuring the Heads of Churches and other Christian leaders.
King Abdullah was accompanied by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, the Senior Adviser to the King for Religious and Cultural Affairs. He told the Anglican leaders that Jordan is committed to its historical and religious role in protecting Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem in its role as guardian of the holy sites.
The King said it was important to confront any attempts that would change the historical and legal situation in the Holy City of Jerusalem, and said that Jordan would continue to promote the values of dialogue, tolerance and brotherhood between religions. Christians, he said, are an inherent component and an integral part of the fabric of the region.
Archbishop Justin said it was “a great honour” to be received in audience by King Abdullah. He explained that the Primates had been discussing the forthcoming Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops, and said: “We are looking at issues of climate change, very relevant here in the Jordan valley and around the shrinking Dead Sea. We are seeking to see how to support peace in this region, grateful for the examples of yourself and this Kingdom.
“We seek to raise the awareness of the issues of refugees and migrants globally, where Jordan sets an example to the world. We are especially concerned about the plight of Christians in this region and other numerous areas where they suffer. Jordan is a shining example of good practice, where Muslims and Christians practice their faith freely and without fear.
The country of Jordan is part of the Anglican / Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem which, Archbishop Justin said, “under the leader of its Archbishop, His Grace Archbishop Suheil Dawani, is heavily involved in building peace, and in the long-term work of education and health. It has hospitals and clinics across the area, including in Gaza, and more than a dozen schools, including schools for the deaf, blind and those with special educational needs. This action on health and education is a best example, and typical of Anglican ministry in all its Provinces.”
The Primates Meeting began yesterday (Monday) and will continue until Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday the primates will undertake pilgrimages and spiritual retreats in Jordan, Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
- We will carry full coverage of the Primates Meeting next Tuesday (21 January)