In a courtesy visit, Her Excellency Dina Kawar, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, along with the Second Secretary, Mr. Raad Elfawair, was welcomed to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland by Ted Wilson, president of the General Conference. Alongside other representatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Wilson discussed the religious freedom provided in the Hashemite Kingdom and also the opportunity to share the multi-faceted ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church worldwide.
During their meeting, Wilson expressed his appreciation to the Kingdom of Jordan for providing religious freedom for Seventh-day Adventists and other religious communities. Dr. Ganoune Diop, director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, remarked that “The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is an example of peaceful coexistence. A deliberate kingdom policy to allow freedom of religion or belief. It is indeed a kingdom that has shown hospitality to a countless number of refugees and asylum seekers.”
A citizen of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Anees Abdelnour, shared his gratitude for his home country with ANN. Abdelnour serves as mortgage portfolio manager for the Church and stated, “I grew up in Jordan, where Christians are treated with great respect. My mother became an Adventist several years after her marriage in Jordan. I followed her path as she was a devoted Christian woman with a focus on helping people and humanity.”
Wilson shared details of the church’s ministry in Jordan, which includes a school and health outreach in the form of an eye clinic. According to Bill Knott, associate director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, “Thirty percent of Jordan’s population are refugees from conflicts in neighboring countries.“
Therefore, beyond religious liberty discussions, the group was able to share how the Adventist Church in Jordan works in their communities to meet essential needs. Knott continued, “Ambassador Kawar’s brief but substantial visit to the church headquarters was a helpful reminder that nations and other faith groups understand us best through the practical help we can provide their communities in education, health development, and support for struggling people groups. There are enormous humanitarian needs that Adventists can help to meet.”
Adventist Church leaders present took time to explain to the Jordanian representatives the practical ways the local church meets these needs and emphasized the Church’s desire to continue to help the community physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually, as Jesus did. The meeting also allowed the Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders to share our involvement in the global community, with the Jordanian Embassy representatives in attendance.
Wilson further shared his appreciation for the cooperation between the church and the Jordanian government and expressed his desire for continued involvement on behalf of the people of Jordan.