Following the resentment that spread among the Christian community in Amman with the Governorate of the Capital removing a sign bearing a verse from the Bible, the Middle East Council of Churches issued the following statement:
The proclamations of His Excellency Mr. Yousef Al-Shawarbeh, Mayor of Amman and former minister, and the answer and explanation of His Excellency Metropolitan Christophoros Atallah, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Amman and president of the Heads of Churches Council in Jordan, came with no surprise. Both persons were raised in the same loving united Jordanian culture that cherishes its children regardless of their religious affiliation.
What His Excellency Mr. Yousef Al-Shawarbeh said in the Orthodox Archdiocese of Amman was clear, categorical, and unambiguous. It stressed on the fact that civil peace in the beloved Jordan and mutual respect among its citizens is not a matter of discussion. Mistakes have been made, apologies have been presented and going back to the right path is the highest of virtues.
The words of His Eminence Metropolitan Christophoros were as clear, forward and unequivocal. He spoke about the adherence to the homeland and the united life among the people of the country, focusing on the historical blending of different socio-religious groups in Jordan, while maintaining stability under all circumstances.
In this perspective, it is important for the Middle East Council of Churches, an institution whose membership includes all the churches of the region, to emphasize this perceptive approach in dealing with crises, especially those of a religious character, even if just in appearance.
We commend the stances and words of His Excellency the Mayor of Amman and the Metropolitan of Jordan, since the positions that were taken and the words that have been said are an effective solution in such circumstances, to ward off the worsening of the situation and prevent the rise of extremist postures that may lead to undesirable consequences. This is a temporary solution while we wait for a radical one for when similar incidents would strike, either because of ignorance or premeditation and determination at the hands of those who aim to harm the nation. As for accountability and dismissal of the statement author, it is subjected to the laws in force, and ecclesiastical authorities are following up on it with government institutions.
The wise leadership preserving the entity and stability of Jordan for decades in a region that is always prone to be shaken, would easily prevent strife, whether big or small, by raising the level of awareness among people by following up on the implementation of educational, informative and dialogue programs that we extensively see in Jordan, in which our Council, the Middle East Council of Churches, is ready to participate, presenting its years of experience in the field.
Nowadays knowledge is mandatory. Knowledge and awareness have proven to be the best stimulators for social progress, and the society and state of Jordan hoard from these primary resources and will preserve them from the difficulties that come upon nations.