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Jordan to continue protecting Jerusalem’s holy sites — King

By JT - Nov 22,2017 - Last updated at Nov 22,2017

His Majesty King Abdullah receives a delegation from the World Council of Churches in Amman on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday received a delegation from the World Council of Churches (WCC), currently visiting the Kingdom to participate in the meeting of the executive committee of the WCC being held in Amman.

During the meeting, King Abdullah assured the delegation that Jordan, under the Hashemite custodianship of Jerusalem's Islamic and Christian holy sites, will continue efforts to preserve the city's holy shrines and defend the property of its churches at all international forums, according to a Royal Court statement.

His Majesty emphasised that the Kingdom stands against any attempts (by the Israeli occupation) to confiscate Christian property in East Jerusalem, stressing that Christian holy sites receive the same attention and care that Jordan gives to Islamic holy sites in the city.

King Abdullah reiterated that Arab Christians are an integral part of the region and a key element of its identity, affirming that the protection of their rights is the duty of all.

His Majesty added that the decline in the number of Christians in Jerusalem is "disturbing and sad", stressing that Jerusalem "must always be a symbol of hope and peace, not a symbol of division".

The King noted that the initiatives launched by Jordan and the religious conferences held by the Kingdom have been designed to promote dialogue, understanding and coexistence.

In this context, His Majesty underline efforts the Kingdom continues to exert to disseminate the values of tolerance and moderation and to build bridges of dialogue and understanding among the followers of different religions.

For their part, members of the WCC delegation commended Jordan's pivotal role, under the leadership of His Majesty, in bringing about peace, security and stability in the region and the world.

They said that the Kingdom is "a unique model of coexistence", praising its endeavours in encouraging religious dialogue and launching initiatives that foster fraternity, tolerance and moderation.

They also expressed their appreciation for the King’s efforts in defending Jerusalem’s holy sites through the Hashemite custodianship of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy sites.

Also on Wednesday, the delegates visited the refugee relief centre affiliated with the Near East Council of Churches at the Azmi Mufti refugee camp near Irbid, where they listened to a briefing on the services presented to more than 5,000 Palestinian refugees, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

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