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Muslim youth take initiative to guard churches as Easter celebrated

By Suzanna Goussous - Apr 15,2017 - Last updated at Apr 15,2017

Christians perform rituals on Palm Sunday in Amman last week (Photo by Hassan Tamimi)

AMMAN — After the attacks on two churches in Egypt last week, Muslim Jordanian youth launched an initiative to protect churches all over the Kingdom on Easter Sunday, in an act of solidarity, they said.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attacks on two Coptic churches in Egypt’s Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday, which killed around 44 and injured more than 100 worshippers, many of whom were children.

Kazem Kharabsheh wrote: “On Sunday, our Christian brothers and sisters will be in churches [performing] religious [rituals], [and] extremists [are] threatening our national security… My Muslim friends and I will be in Balqa Governorate, protecting its churches and people.”

There have been no direct threats by terrorists to attack churches in Jordan, although Daesh has been repeatedly issuing statements of threats against the Kingdom’s security. 

Another Balqa resident, Fayez Ruqeidi, added the vigilante act is meant to “underline the unity of Jordanians and to give everyone the freedom to practise their religion without restraints or fear”.

In Madaba, Hazem Al Fouqaha said many Muslim residents will stand as guards in front of churches to ensure the safety of Christians inside. 

Saleh Abu Mahfoud from Zarqa Governorate, some 19km east of Amman, announced his willingness to protect churches in the area, along with other activists to show solidarity with Christians celebrating Easter.

Activists in Ajloun voiced a similar stand to “show the world the harmony and conviviality in Jordan” and to present a model of a fight against extremism, xenophobia, and radicalism.

“We are always proud to say Jordan is made up of harmonious pieces of mosaics; it’s truly sad to see such security measures taken out of necessity in Jordan. We live in a small country and we know everyone here,” Amman resident Hala Saadi told The Jordan Times.

Several security checkpoints were installed on the gates of some churches around the country, as a way to ensure protection of worshippers.

Father Rifat Bader from the Amman-based Catholic Centre for Studies and Media said installing checkpoints at church gates is only a normal measure “to help the security personnel, who are always present on every religious occasion”.

 

Palm Sunday in Jordan was trouble free.

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Comments

You know it don't come easy

Very touched VB to know the youth have taken the initiative especially so in a world that has so many attacks one against the other.

Ben Smith,
Muslims. Are not considering any one blowing churches (as u said ) not a Muslim , this type of Islam is u claim is not an Islamic , churches are kept under Islamic rules much better than they are kept in western countries under some political parties. For yr information there are many many Muslim holy shrines were blowing up by Daesh or ISIIS groups, much much more than churches, Muslims have been killed in much more No's than other religious followers. Please read which governments created these fundamentals and still supporting them.

God bless you, dear Muslim friends!

THIS FAITH BLIND COUNTRY DOES NOT NEED TO TELL ANY PERSON WHAT JORDAN HAS ALWAYS BEEN SINCE I HAVE KNOW AND LIVED IN JORDAN FOR OVER 30 YEARS DIRECTLY AND INDIRECTLY. JORDAN IS A CHAMPION OF FAITH NEUTRALITY, LOVE AMONG NEIGHBOURS, OPEN MINDED AND THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD WHERE ONE CAN RARELY HEAR ABOUT OR SEE ANY CHRISTION WHO DOES NOT HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE USUALLY ADDRESSED AS BROTHERS AND SISTERS. THE OPPOSITE IS ALSO TRUE BECAUSE MAJORITY IF NOT ALL JORDANIAN MUSLIMS HAVE AT LEAST A FRIEND WHO IS A CHRISTIAN. WHEN I GO TO CHURCH DURING CHRISTMASS, I MORE SAFE AND SECURED THAN I DO IN ANY COUNTRY THAT I HAVE LIVED IN OR VISITED. THIS IS A MODEL THAT THE WORLD CAN COPY FROM A SMALL AND POOR COUNTRY. AND SO FOR THOSE WHO THINK THAT POORER COUNTRIES ARE MORE LIKELY TO DO CRAZY THINGS, I SAY NO. MY WORDS ARE MY BONDS BECAUSE I HAVE ALWAYS SPOKEN OUT WHEN I DISAGREES WITH ANY POLICIES IN JORDAN. JORDAN AND JORDANIANS HAVE ONE CONFOUNDING EFFECT AND THAT IS RESPECT FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL RELIGIONS THROUGH THEIR OPEN MINDEDNESS. KEEP IT UP MY IN LAWS AND HAPPY EASTER TO ALL WHO CELEBERATE IT AROUND THE WORLD.

It's a nice gesture but maybe they need to speak with the local communities and stop other MUSLIM from blowing churches up!

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