By JT – Jan 07,2017 – JORDAN TIMES
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III (centre) leads the midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank’s Bethlehem as Orthodox Christmas celebrations started on Saturday (AFP photo)
AMMAN — Deputising for His Majesty King Abdullah, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Bisher Khasawneh on Friday night participated in the midnight mass at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, as the eastern Christian traditions began their Christmas celebrations.
The celebrations are held according to the eastern calendar of the Roman Orthodox, Assyrian, Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox sects, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported on Saturday.
In a speech prior to the mass dinner, Khasawneh, in the presence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, conveyed King Abdullah’s greetings to Christians on Christmas, and His Majesty’s wishes for a year full of love and peace.
He stressed Jordan’s desire to support Christians in Palestine, who, along with Muslims, constitute an example for coexistence and social cohesion in Palestine, the Kingdom and the wider Arab world.
Khasawneh spoke of the deep-rooted connections between the Jordanian and the Palestinian peoples, reiterating King Abdullah’s keenness, in his capacity as custodian of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, to continue safeguarding these sanctuaries.