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Prince Hassan extends Christmas greetings, meets church leaders

By JT - Dec 26,2022 - Last updated at Dec 26,2022

HRH Prince Hassan with church leaders during a gathering at the Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Church of Jordan on Monday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — HRH Prince Hassan, chairperson of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (RIIFS) board of trustees, on Monday met with heads and representatives of the eastern and western churches on the occasions of Christmas and the New Year.

Addressing the gathering at the Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Church of Jordan,  Prince Hassan extended his greetings to Christians in Jordan, commending the role of the Christian religious figures who cancelled all Christmas celebrations in solidarity with the families of the fallen police officers and injured personnel, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

Religious holidays are considered a great opportunity to deepen coexistence in society, the prince said, noting that observing the religious holidays as national holidays could enhance religion's role in society and spread solidarity.

The prince also lauded the Church and other Christian institutions’ "pivotal" role in support of Jerusalemites and the safeguarding of Jerusalem's holy sites against systematic judaisation projects, emphasising the need to establish a contemporary theological position towards the Palestinian cause. 

Prince Hassan also stressed the importance of activating “ecumenical dialogue” among Christian churches in the Arab world to see social convergence and set a model of unity, love and harmony, as well as building diversity and pluralism.

He also renewed calls for the establishment of an Arab-Islamic heritage fund to promote intellectual communication and common understanding.

Father Anthony Sobhi, priest of the Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Church of Jordan, said: "While we are celebrating Christmas, this  meeting took place to provide lessons in love, peace, humility, acceptance of others, love of goodness for others and service to one's fellow man regardless of religion, race or gender.”

At the end of the meeting, the prince and the attendees discussed issues related to respect for diversity and difference, the management of Jerusalem's religious shrines, as well as the principle of comprehensive citizenship for religious and cultural pluralism in Jordan and the Mashriq region (eastern Arab countries).


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