ASIA/JORDAN - The director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media: sects jeopardize relations between Christians and Muslims

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Amman (Agenzia Fides) - Jehovah's Witnesses and the sects of American origin, with their propaganda methods, create problems for the middle east Christian communities of ancient tradition and their relations with the Muslim majority. The warning is launched by the Jordanian priest Rifat Bader, director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media, based in Amman. "Recently," explains Father Bader to Fides Agency "Many families call me to point out the insistence with which Jehovah's Witnesses ask to enter their houses to distribute propaganda materials. Those who in turn joined them, immediately began to publicly express their hostility towards the Christian community that they previously belonged to. "
The priest recalled that in 2008, before the effects produced in Jordan by the activity of dozens of preachers, the leaders of the Churches settled in the Hashemite Kingdom had expressed in a document their shared concern. "Jehovah's Witnesses and activists of other sects" refers Fr. Bader "go to towns and villages and make propaganda but also with some Muslim families. They cite their Bible and their Gospel. Even when they do not share the belief in the Trinity, they speak of Jesus, and are perceived as Christians. In this way, they confuse people and violate the traditional respect so our society every religious community avoids to carry out proselytizm among the members of other groups. " According to the Jordanian priest, the phenomenon is also a pastoral challenge: "If our people suffer the call of sects, it means that they have not really enjoyed the richness of the faith in which they were well educated." At the same time, Father Bader does not believe that his alarm expresses a conception contrary to religious freedom: "We hope everyone may in the Arab world fully express their freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. But the methods of aggressive proselytism, towards communities of believers, cannot be justified with reference to these principles. " (GV) (Agenzia Fides 31/01/2013).