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Muslims, Christians hold joint celebration of Annunciation

By JT - Mar 29,2018 - Last updated at Mar 29,2018

The ceremony witnessed the attendance of a number of Muslim and Christian dignitaries, in addition to Jordanian and foreign officials on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of abouna.org / Osama Toubasi)

AMMAN — The Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan on Wednesday held the first Christian-Islamic celebration of the Annunciation under the patronage of Deputy Prime Minister Jamal Sarayrah, a CCSM statement said.

In the presence of bishops and heads of Churches in Jordan, representatives of the Iftaa Department, of the Chief Islamic Justice Department, of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, and of several Islamic associations, Sarayrah stated: “We meet today to take part in the celebration marking the Feast of the Annunciation… considering the common denominators between Islam and Christianity, and believing that our success will only be attained through the success of everyone despite their various cultural backgrounds and ideologies.”

The ceremony also witnessed the attendance of members of Parliament, ambassadors, foreign and local media, a Lebanese delegation representing “the Christian-Muslim Meeting Around Mary”, in addition to Christian and Muslim believers.

“Over the years, Jordan has been consolidating relations among citizens based of the common denominator among religions: humanity. We have launched several initiatives under the guidance of His Majesty King Abdullah, which have been adopted worldwide as a basis for dialogue and brotherhood.”

In his opening address, CCSM director Rif’at Bader said: “Since His Majesty King Abdullah assumed his constitutional responsibilities, Christmas was marked as an official holiday for all citizens, and an annual meeting of the Jordanian united family has been conducted with His Majesty.” He also cited last year’s meeting at the Baptism Site which affirmed the Hashemite custodianship of the site.

“As we jointly celebrate Christmas, we are here today to set the foudation for a joint celebration of the Feast of Annunciation in order to have it added to the sublime Jordanian initiatives in the field of harmony,” Bader stated, adding that “the only allowed extremism is that relevant to love, brotherhood and altruism.”

He continued: “We have gathered today as one family to say that we support the establishment of new and distinguished relations between Muslims and Christians not only in our holy country, but throughout the world,” and stressed the centre’s support to the Amman Message, according to the statement . 

For his part, Secretary General of Lebanon’s “Christian-Muslim Meeting around Mary” Naji Al-Khoury voiced his hope to see the Islamic-Christian celebration also become an annual national holiday in Lebanon, stressing that “this marks a new stage in Christian-Muslim relations, as well as a flourishing stage of lasting friendship between the Jordanian and Lebanese peoples”.

The ceremony included readings from the Bible and the Quran as well as religious hymns by the Spring of Choir and Al Falah Choir, the statement concluded.

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