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and Interchurch Cooperation, were key to both meetings. The meeting with the young Muslims was frank and open,
yet cordial, and was based on the BWA response to A Common Word.
General Secretary Callam led a delegation that met with the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center (JICRC)
on March 19. The aim of the JICRC is to assist in cultivating a culture of tolerance among people of faith who live in
The BWA delegation engaged the members of the center in a discussion on the requirements for peaceful relations
among people of different faiths. Callam told the meeting with the JICRC that the right of people to follow the religious
way of their choice and to make room for others to do the same has been a major mark of Baptist witness.
Present at the meeting were Sami Gammoh, former Jordanian Finance Minister, Muslim scholar Hamdi Murad, and
Executive Director of the JICRC, Nabil Haddad of the Catholic Church (Eastern Rite).
The dedication ceremony by the Jordan River drew other Baptists from the Middle East, including from Lebanon,
perhaps the strongest Middle Eastern Baptist group; Syria, where there is a strong ministry among Iraqi refugees in the
country; and from Israel, the majority of whom are Palestinian Arabs.
Callam, the main speaker at the dedication ceremony, said, “Today, as we assemble by the Jordan… we unite to mark
the opening and dedication of this Baptism Center – a place where people from all parts of the world may assemble for a
journey and an experience.”
The BWA leader expressed the hope that “the waters of the Jordan extinguish the crippling fires of hopelessness that
burn in the hearts of those who have no knowledge of God.”
Also speaking at the dedication ceremony was former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Blair, who established a faith
foundation upon demitting office as British Prime Minister, commended King Abdullah and Prince Ghazi for exhibiting
courage in the inauguration of the Baptism Center. The Center joins buildings of other churches, including the Orthodox
Church, which have recently been constructed on the official Baptism Site of Jesus Christ. Blair stated, “In dedicating this
site, let us renew our faith in our God, our Lord, and in His message.”
BWA President David Coffey and Fawaz Ameish, Jordan Baptist Convention president and BWA vice president,
expressed gratitude to King Abdullah and Prince Ghazi for facilitating the construction and dedication of the center.
Coffey read greetings from former United States presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, both Baptists, and from
prominent Baptist pastor from the US, Rick

Photos: Baptists met with Muslim journalists and scholars at the offices of Islamica magazine on March 19 to discuss the BWA response to
the Muslim letter, A Common Word, of October 13, 2007. The letter, signed by 138 Muslim scholars and leaders, called on Christian leaders
to enter into dialogue with Muslims in a quest for world peace.
David Coffey speaking at the dedication of the Baptism Center
Some of the more than 120 persons waiting to be baptized during the opening and dedication ceremony of the Baptism Center Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32
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