"As Baptists we support Your Majesty's relentless efforts to enhance a culture of co-existence between Muslims and Christians," Tony Peck says. (Photos: map, CIA Factbook; Peck, Helle Liht)
In a letter to King Abdullah II of Jordan, European Baptist Federation General Secretary Tony Peck has praised the efforts of the Jordanian government and royal family in seeking to promote religious tolerance in the Middle East region.
"As Baptists we support Your Majesty's relentless efforts to enhance a culture of co-existence between Muslims and Christians, and deter terrorist groups who now threaten world peace."
He went on to refer to the "A Common Word" initiative of some years ago that originated in Jordan at the instigation of Prince Ghazi and sought to promote this co-existence on the basis of "love of God and love of neighbor."
The Baptist World Alliance made a much-praised response that went alongside the granting by King Abdullah of part of the site of the Baptism of Christ in Jordan to Baptists worldwide.
The letter also highlights Jordan's role in the current Syrian refugee crisis. "Faced with so many refugees and displaced people since its inception, we as Baptists call upon the world community to support Jordan as it continues to shoulder the challenging task of hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, Iraq and elsewhere."
Peck commented on his initiative in sending the letter. "Jordan is an oasis of relative stability moderation and a commitment to religious pluralism in the Middle East region that has become increasingly volatile with the war in Syria and the rise of ISIS/Daesh spreading violence and terror," he said.
"We want to join our Jordanian Baptist brothers and sisters in assuring King Abdullah and his government of our support and prayers as they continue to strive for peace in the region. We know that they recognize the contribution made to this by the Christian communities in Jordan, including the Baptists," Peck added.
It is hoped that an EBF delegation will visit Jordan in 2016.
Editor's note: A version of this news article first appeared on the EBF news page and is used with permission. You can follow Tony Peck on Twitter @EBFGS and EBF @EBFNews. EthicsDaily.com's documentary, "Different Books, Common Word," shares positive stories of Baptists and Muslims coming together around the shared call to love neighbor to collaborate for the common good.
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