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    11-Apr-2019

Archbishop reaffirms need for Hashemite Custodianship

 

Raed Omari, The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jordan Christoforos Attallah on Wednesday said that Hashemite Custodianship over Jerusalem’s holy sites guaranteed a continued Christian presence in the occupied city.
 
During a meeting with journalists from The Jordan Times and Al Rai, Attallah said that Hashemite Custodianship over Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy sites was a continuation of the Pact of Omar signed in 638AD by the Caliph Omar Ibn Al Khattab and the Patriarch of Jerusalem Sophronius.
 
“We have legitimacy to speak on behalf of the Christians of the Mashreq [Levant], and our legitimacy granted us the right to ask His Majesty King Abdullah to be the custodian of Jerusalem’s Christian sites.”
 
The archbishop said that Hashemite Custodianship over Jerusalem’s holy sites was a continuation of the culture of coexistence between Muslims and Christians which was institutionalised by the Pact of Omar some 1,400 years ago.
 
Attallah also said that there have always been attempts by the Israeli occupation to change Jerusalem’s Arab identity and empty it of its Christian inhabitants, adding that the number of Christians in the Holy City has decreased from 30,000 to around 5,000 as a result of these “de-Arabisation and de-Christianisation” measures.
 
“This scheming aims at transforming the conflict to be between Jewish Zionists and Muslims,” Attallah said.
 
He added that Christians in Jerusalem and elsewhere were not against any single religion, and that “we believe, as the King believes, that Jerusalem is for Christians, Muslims and Jews”.
 
 

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