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September 7, 2013 7:00 am

Jordan’s King Abdullah Invokes ‘Duty’ to Protect Mideast Christians

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King Abdullah Hussein of the Kingdom of Jordan. Photo: Wiki Commons. – Jordan’s King Abdullah, speaking at a two-day conference on the plight of Middle East Christians, declared that it is a Muslim’s “duty” to protect Christians.

The two-day conference in Amman on “The Challenges Facing Arab Christians” brought together more than 70 high-ranking representatives of Middle Eastern churches. The conference was organized by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, Chief Advisor for Religious and Cultural Affairs, who has a long history of interfaith work.

In his speech to the conference, Jordan’s King Abdullah said that protecting the rights of Middle East Christians “is a duty rather than a favor” because “Arab Christians have had a key role in building the Arab society and in the defense of our nation,” theJordan Times reported.

“Christians were in this region before Muslims. They are not strangers, nor colonialists, nor foreigners. They are the natives of these lands and Arabs, just as Muslims are,” Prince Ghazi said in his remarks to the conference, according to the Jordan Times.

The conference also focused on the rapid emigration of Christians from the region. Today, nearly every Christian community in the Middle East, with the exception of Israel’s small Christian community, is shrinking.

“We have many challenges, we have many problems. We are really afraid, afraid for the present and for the future. […] A result of this fear is the emigration of many Christians from Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan,” Patriarch Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, told Vatican Radio.

The conference follows a visit to the Vatican last week by King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan, who both met with Pope Francis.

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  • Luigi Rosolin

    King Abdullah Hussein had tackle a very important realty. Christian and Jews are from Noah descendant like other ethnic group.The king, message is encouraging for peace and love and is appreciate.Arab displacement of Christian’s, is a very high cost, economically and culturally. God bless his people and who are not against. They are gentile that we must help and pray for salvation,from the lies of the false gods.

  • tom

    he came awfully close to mentioning those “other” people who were in the middle east before the moslems, namely the jews.

    now, wouldn’t that have been a revelation, coming from the leader of an arabian dynasty like the hashemites, who ruled mecca and medina until they wer driven out by the saudis, less than 100 years ago.