Christians of many denominations gathered for an Easter sunrise service atop Mount Nebo and prayed for peace and for Christians in Egypt, who were not celebrating as festively.
Many were thinking of the Palm Sunday twin suicide bombings targeting Christians at two Coptic Orthodox churches in Egypt.
Jordanian authorities stepped up security around churches and other sensitive areas in the aftermath of the assaults. Many Christians still consider Jordan a relatively safe haven compared to other Mideast countries because of the religious tolerance fostered by its moderate Muslim ruler, King Abdullah II.
The international English-language Easter service drew scores of Jordanians and others from around the world to the Franciscan-run basilica – built in 597 on a fourth-century church foundation – and its famed Byzantine mosaic pavements. It was the first such service after a decade of restoration prevented use of the church.
“It’s an honour and a blessing to worship here on Easter, particularly when there is so much difficulty and pain in neighbouring countries,” teacher Jennifer LaChonce told Catholic News Service.
Picture: People walk outside Moses Memorial on Mount Nebo in Jordan on 4th February. (CNS photo/Dale Gavlak).