Jordan: we are all messengers of peace, says Pope Francis
16 June 2014

Pope Francis rides through the crowd at Amman's International Stadium, greeting attendees before celebrating Mass on 24 May 2014 (Zerene Haddad/Jesuit Refugee Service).
The Pope is a wonderful advocate for people who are usually marginalised, oppressed and unable to be heard above the clamour of politics and war.
Amman, 16 June 2014 – Amid a crowd of twenty thousand, Pope Francis was welcomed to Amman, Jordan with cheering and festivities. Although his visit to the Holy Land was brief, his presence in the region was a morale boost to many in such times of turmoil and anxiety.

"Although he may be the leader of the Catholic church, his visit is still important for Muslims and Christians alike", said Nawal, a student at the JRS centre in Amman.

"His message and support to the victims of these terrible conflicts goes beyond religious belongings. He speaks straight to our hearts, he calls on us to be humane to one another".

Pope Francis focused his message on the people who endure the greatest suffering as a result of the conflicts that have beset the region. 

"We are all messengers of peace, we are all witnesses of peace", he told the crowd at Amman Stadium on 24 May. 

He offered praise to those communities who have opened their arms to refugees and people who are forcibly displaced. He urged Muslims, Jews and Christians alike to remain committed to reconciliation, "through small daily acts" that in turn will help to heal the wounds of war. 

His visit came at a time when the Syrian conflict is escalating, displacement continues to increase (both within and beyond Syria's borders) and tensions are high in neighbouring countries. Recently, Lebanon took steps to limit the flow of Syrians into Lebanon by looking at the option of establishing camps for displaced persons inside "no man's land" between Lebanon and Syria. 

After celebrating Mass at the stadium, the Pope visited the baptism site of Jesus, on the River Jordan, where he prayed and met with Syrians who had fled the war. 

The moment that captured the hearts of many on his three-day trip was an unplanned stop next to the separation wall between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, where he quietly leaned his head against the wall in prayer beside graffiti saying "Free Palestine". 

"The Pope is a wonderful advocate for people who are usually marginalised, oppressed and unable to be heard above the clamour of politics and war. I know that amongst the people we serve and work with in Jordan, who come from Sudan, Somalia, Syria and Iraq, there is a deep sense of respect and admiration for Pope Francis and his commitment to speak for them, to give voice to their aspirations", said Tamim Arif, acting Country Director of JRS Jordan. 





Press Contact Information
Zerene Haddad
middleeast.communications@jrs.net