With estimated hundreds of thousands of Iraq’s and Syria’s ancient Christian communities taking refuge in the Hashemite Kingdom, they joined together with the Kingdom’s own 2,000 year-old indigenous Christian tradition in honoring the murdered Air Force pilot slain by Islamic Jihadists. As reported by the Catholic-centered Asia News service (of Rome, Italy) and also the Aleteia news aggregate, both on Feb. 4, 2015, Christians across the Middle Eastern nation will peal Church bells in honor of the horrifically murdered Jordanian pilot, as well as in a display of patriotism and unity with their nation against the ISIS terrorists.
With anger in Jordan against ISIS running at a fever pitch since the burning alive of 26-year-old Lieutenant Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, the Amman-based Catholic Center for Studies and Media has called for all of the nation’s Catholic parishes to sound the ringing of the bells to signify mourning and also to offer up prayers and Masses during the week “for the loss of the martyr of the homeland.”
The Center’s director, Father Rifat Bader, also sent his condolences to the murdered aviator’s family and to all those who suffer “from extremism, bigotry and terrorism.” Not alone, His Excellency Archbishop Laroun Lahham, Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem ordered that precisely at 6 PM local time, all Jordanian parishes will celebrate Masses and recite prayers for the fallen soldier. The Archbishop also stated to the press, “Then an official delegation of the Catholic Church will travel to present their condolences to the family and the tribe to which Mu’ath belonged.”
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Excellency Archbishop Fouad Twal released a prepared statement to the press, “The Bishops, clergy and faithful of the Latin Patriarchate join in this anguish and share in the sorrow.” The Archbishop said the incident “reminds us how the fight against any fundamentalist force is necessary and urgent.”
Meanwhile, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb, the head of Sunni Islam’s most respected seat of learning, Egypt’s Al-Azhar mosque and university, expressed his “deep anger over the lowly terrorist act.” Not quite done yet, the Grand Imam also stated that the ISIS killers rate nothing less than the Koranic punishment of “death, crucifixion or the chopping off of their arms for being enemies of God and the Prophet Muhammad.”