Many residents stress the churchs important social function. Smakiehs Latin parish, for instance, organized regular youth groups and sporting activities. The church offers space for small children to gather and play — something always in short supply in Jordans villages and cities. And of course, the priest performs weddings and funerals, arbitrates disputes
and counsels families.
What is excellent is that its a Christian area, says Zaal Hijazine. Maybe its the only place in Jordan that is fully Christian, and has been for some time.
In Jordan, Christians and Muslims generally coexist peacefully. In the Kerak plateau, relations among Christians of various denominations and Muslims are particularly warm — in part because most residents share similar tribal ancestries.
Weve celebrated, weve married, weve died together, says Father ‘Adil Mdanat, the Orthodox priest in Ader. Even the Muslims call me ‘Father.
Our life here is very, very good, he adds. Our future is good. People are leaving from here because of their dreams and their work.
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Contributors Nicholas Seeley and Tanya Habjouqa cover events in the Middle East.
Tags: Christianity Jordan Village life Christian-Muslim relations Farming/Agriculture