On Wednesday, the 11th/24th of December 2014, the king of Jordan visited the historical city of Karak (ancient Kyriakoupolis) in South Jordan, to meet with subjects of his kingdom, Muslims and Christians alike, on the occasion of Christmas.
Today, the city numbers approximately 10.000 inhabitants, whereas the overall Governorate of Karak has a population of 100.000, of whom 6,000 are Christians, 3,000 Orthodox among them.
The city has a long history. It belonged to the Byzantium until the year 638 AD, when the Byzantines were defeated by Caliph Omar Al-Hatab.
The meeting was held in order to further strengthen the current peaceful symbiosis between Christians and Muslims, enjoyed by the citizens of Jordan owing to the pacifying rule of King Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein, advocating religious tolerance.
His Beatitude Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, was the first among speakers to address guests in Arabic, through f. Issa Musleh, the Patriarchate’s Arab-speaking press liaison. The speech will be posted soon.