Amman (Agenzia Fides) - The Christians of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan will live the upcoming Christmas holidays in a sober way, refraining from showing their joy for Christmas and the beginning of the new year in convivial celebrations that are too showy, as a sign of solidarity with the climate of mourning that envelops the country after the recent bloody events that hit representatives of the national security forces. The Council of Heads of Churches and Ecclesial Communities present in Jordan has asked all the baptized to participate in a spiritually recollected manner in the liturgical celebrations of Christmas, while also refraining from organizing festivities and gatherings which might not be in tune with the feelings of sadness and concern that currently prevail among the population. Jordan, reads the statement issued by the Council of Church Leaders, "is one body that cannot be divided. We are at the side of all the inhabitants of this country in its difficulties". The Heads of the Churches, quoting the First Letter of St. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, ask "all our children, loved by the Lord, to conform to our decision with spiritual responsibility and patriotic duty: "If a member suffers, all the members suffer with him".
In this message, the Heads of Churches express their confidence that all Jordanians will go through "this painful phase as a single family woven of love, fraternity and belonging to this country, united around His Majesty King Abdullah II, the great son of Hussein, may God protect and preserve him".
Last week, protests over high fuel prices turned to armed guerrilla warfare in the town of Hussayinieh in the southern province of Maan. On Friday December 16, Abdel Raziq Dalabih, deputy police chief of Maan, was killed in clashes between armed militants and security forces. The funeral of the victim, in his hometown of Jerash, was attended by 10,000 people. King Abdullah II spoke at the funeral, saying those responsible for the murder would be punished. Monday, December 19, during a raid by security forces in the town of Maan, aimed at arresting suspects, a shooting left three officers dead and five injured. The raid also led to the arrest of eight other people, while national media began portraying the murdered suspect as a radical Islamist linked to "takfira ideology".
Since 1975 (see Fides 17/12/2015), all the Churches and ecclesial communities in Jordan have celebrated Holy Christmas on December 25. That year, the heads of the Churches agreed on a mechanism whereby all the baptized in the Hashemite Kingdom celebrate the solemnity of Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar, while Easter is celebrated by all Christians on the feast day according to the Julian calendar. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 20/12/2022)