Jordan called to reconsider

AMMAN (AP) – The World Council of Churches yesterday called on Jordan to reconsider its recent decision not to recognize the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, a statement released by the organization said. Jordan withdrew its recognition of Theophilos III – head of Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Church – on May 13, saying he had failed to annul an unsanctioned sale of Church property to Israel. The Greek Orthodox Church abides by a 1958 Jordanian law banning the sale of any Church land or property in Jerusalem, which Jordan ruled along with the West Bank until Israel seized the territories during the 1967 Middle East War. Under Amman’s 1994 peace treaty with the Jewish state, Jordan was given responsibility for overseeing Christian and Islamic holy shrines in Jerusalem. The Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem has 100,000 members, most of whom are Palestinian Christians.