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Jordan’s king decries anti-Christian violence
September 05, 2013: A week after meeting with Pope Francis, King Abdullah II of Jordan spoke at a conference on the plight of Christians in the Middle East and decried violence against them.
“We support every effort to preserve the historical Arab Christian identity, and safeguard the right to worship freely, based on a rule in both the Christian and Islamic faiths that underlines love of God and love of neighbor,” the king said, according to The Jordan Times.
“We are proud that Jordan constitutes a unique model of coexistence and fraternity between Muslims and Christians,” he continued. “We also believe that the protection of the rights of Christians is a duty rather than a favor. Arab Christians have played a key role in building Arab societies, and defending the just causes of our nation.”
King Abdullah also called upon Christians to “defend Islam” and criticized the “Judaization” of Jeruslam:
Arab Christians are the closest to understanding Islam and its true values. We call upon them at this stage to defend Islam, which is subject to a lot of injustice because some are ignorant of the essence of this faith, which preaches tolerance and moderation, and rejects extremism and isolationism.
Jerusalem, which is, regrettably, subject to the worst forms of Judaization today, stands witness to 14 centuries of deep, solid and fraternal relations between Muslims and Christians ... We all have the duty to defend the Arab identity of Jerusalem, and protect its Islamic and Christian holy sites. Arab Christians should cling to their Arab identity. It is our collective duty to stand in the face of all practices aimed at displacing or marginalizing them.
“Arab Christians are suffering, not only because of the blind and deaf sedition that everyone has suffered from in certain Arab countries since the beginning of what is incorrectly called the Arab Spring, but also merely because they are Christians,” added Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, the king’s chief advisor for religious affairs.
Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, apostolic nuncio to Jordan and Iraq, told Vatican Radio that “the situation for Christians in the Middle East is very tense in this moment, and I think the king is good willed and wanted to try everything he can to help them to stay in this region and to live with their Muslim brothers as best as they can.”
“He is aware that Christians are a little scared, and they are thinking to leave,” the prelate added. “And so he realizes that something must be done, and so this is the first time that such a conference was organized in a Muslim country with the leaders of a country.”