Amman (Agenzia Fides) - King Abdallah II of Jordan made a donation for restoring of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem at his own expense. Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine and Jordan, Theophilus III, expressed his appreciation and gratitude on behalf of himself, members of the Holy Synod, the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre, the clergy and members of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem.
The new donation - the amount of which has not yet been disclosed - represents a part of the sum of the Templeton Prize, awarded to King Abdallah II in November 2018.
Established in 1972 by the Presbyterian Christian John Templeton as Prize for Progress in Religion, the Templeton prize is annually awarded to personalities who have made particular contributions in the field of religion or spirituality, in the belief that «the scientific revelations will be a gold mine to revitalize religion in the 21st century». The prize is equal to 1.1 million British pounds (corresponding to more than one million and 283 thousand euros), and represents one of the most substantial annual individual awards in the world. In the past, Mother Teresa (in 1973), the Dalai Lama (in 2012), Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu (in 2013) and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (in 2016) received the Templeton Prize. In awarding the Prize to King Abdallah, the Templeton Foundation also recalled its continued commitment to the protection of Christian and Islamic holy places in Jerusalem.
In April 2016, King Abdallah II had sent a substantial personal donation in the form of a "royal charity" (Makruma) in favor of the restoration work on the Edicula of the Holy Sepulcher, completed in March 2017.
The Hashemite monarchy of Jordan legitimizes its power on the basis of its lineage in direct line from the Prophet Muhammad, and claims as its priority responsibility also the protection of the Muslim and Christian Holy Places of Jerusalem. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 7/5/2019)