Monday, May 19, 2014


by Fardah
    Jakarta, May 19, 2014 (Antara) - Jordanian Ambassador to Indonesia Walid Al-Hadid has invited Indonesian Christians to visit his country, particularly during the pilgrimage of Pope Francis on May 24-25, 2014.
         "I encourage Indonesian Christians to visit Jordan, particularly during the visit of Pope Francis. There will be no problem regarding visa application. Indonesians can obtain visa on arrival at the airport in Amman, or apply for visa that will be issued in one day at the Jordanian embassy," Ambassador Walid Al-Hadid told Antara here on Monday.  
    Around 50 thousand Indonesians visited Jordan last year, according to the ambassador. Historic home to many great civilizations as well as the heartland of Islamic, Christianity and Judaism religions, Jordan has many sacred places for Muslims and Christians.

         Jordan is a tolerant nation and has encouraged harmonious relations between Muslims and Christians, according to him.  
    On May 24, Jordanian King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein will welcome Pope Francis in celebration of the 50 years of Papal visits to the Holy Land. The visit of Pope Francis is expected to consolidate the efforts of both his Holiness and Jordan to promote understanding, respect and harmony among religions, nations and people. 
    King Abdullah II and the Pope will discuss efforts to strengthen the relations between Jordan and his Holiness in particular, and between Muslims and Christians in general, the ambassador said.  
    "Jordan is honored to receive His Holiness Pope Francis on the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, on May 24-25," Al-Hadid said. 
    The year 2014 marks the Golden Jubilee of the first papal visit by Pope Paul VI to the Holy Land in 1964, a major milestone in Jordan's relations with the Holy See. Since the first historic pilgrimage, Jordan had received Saint Pope John Paul II in 2000 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.
         The agenda of Pope Francis in Jordan will include a Holy Mass at the Amman International Stadium expected to be attended by around 30,000 people and the First Holy Communion for about 1,400 children.
         The Pope will also perform a pilgrimage to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, which is the Baptism site of Jesus in Jordan River, Jordan Valley. He will also meet with around 400 people, consisting mainly of young refugees and children with special needs during the pilgrimage.
         Among important Biblical sites in Jordan is Bethany Beyond the Jordan, which was the site of John the Baptist's settlement and where Jesus was baptized on the east bank of the Jordan River.
         Some of the world's earliest churches are in Jordan, including the second and third century-prayer Hall at Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the fourth century-church at Umm Qays and the remains of the world's oldest purpose-built church at Aqaba.  
    Jesus also traveled, taught and healed the sick throughout Transjordan in the regions of the Decapolis and Peraea on his way to Jerusalem.
    (T. f001/INE/B003)

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