Early every morning, at around four o’clock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is unlocked. This is one of the holiest sites of Christianity, where tradition has Jesus was executed, buried, and where he rose – so a primary focus, particularly during the Easter Season. Who do you think has the key and is trusted with that important task and service? His name is Adeeb Joudeh. His family has been doing this for centuries. He has a key that is 500 years old, and a broken key from 850 years ago that broke after centuries of use. He speaks of agreements 1400 years old. This man, Adeeb Joudeh, who, very early each morning, opens possibly the most significant Christian church in the world is not a Christian. His family are not, his ancestors were not Christians.
He is a Muslim. A Muslim family has been providing this important service for Christians for centuries. “This is the family heritage,” Adeeb says. “This is an honour not only for our family. This is an honour for all Muslims in the world.” He learned the obligations and responsibilities of guarding the key from his father, just as he will pass it on to his son. And about that he says: “What we pass to the next generations is not only the key, but also the way you respect other religions.”
The tomb where Christ rose, and some of the surrounding massive church to which Adeeb holds the key, is about to undergo a multi-million dollar restoration. Who do you think is paying for most of the work? The King of Jordan, King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein, a muslim.
A muslim king is providing a significant gift for the restoration of the holiest place in Christianity. This Muslim king was also instrumental in preserving the site of Christ’s baptism in Jordan.
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