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Monday, July 21, 2014

Jordan's Christians protest against 'foreign colonisation' of the Orthodox Church

   


Christians of the Greek Orthodox community in Jordan protested on Monday against what they called the "foreign colonisation" of the Orthodox Church, saying that Patriarch Theophilos III, the current Pope in Jerusalem, and his dominion have stripped the Church of its "national and spiritual identity", Anadolu news agency reported.

The protest was organised by the Young Arab Orthodox organisation in front of their Patriarchate in the capital of Amman, and was attended by dozens of Arab Orthodox Christians. The protestors started with prayers for the victims who have fallen in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and then prayed to lift injustice from the world and bring peace.

The protest's media coordinator, Rola Nasrawin, told Anadolu that: "We reject the Patriarchate in Palestine and the priest Gabriel Naddaf, who promotes the recruitment of Arab Christians in the Israeli occupation army and likens the legitimate Palestinian resistance with terrorism." She added that: "We also reject Patriarch Theophilus III's exploitation and depletion of the Church and its parishioners and resources through illegal practices which contribute to empty the Arab Middle East of its Christian population."

The protestors said that the current Greek Orthodox Bishop in Amman, Bishop Venedictus, is merely a "figurehead Bishop without any real position, who only follows Patriarch Theophilus III's policies". They rejected the prejudice against "any Arab national cleric" and stressed that any decision against them is a decision to be rejected.

The protesters also stressed that the Monastery of the Holy Virgin Mary in Jordan and the removal of Archimandrite Christophoros are both red lines and there will be no power that can touch the monastery or force the father from it.

Orthodox Christians consider the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem to be the mother Church and the first Church in history. The current patriarch is Theophilos III, the 141st Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. The Patriarchate includes nationals in Jordan, Israel and Palestine and serves nearly half a million Christians, the majority of whom live in Jordan.

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