Seventh-day Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson, wrapping up a nearly month-long tour of five countries, thanked Jordanian authorities for averting a possible crisis by renewing the official registration of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Middle Eastern country.
Wilson met with Jordan’s tourism minister, Nidal Katamine, on Wednesday afternoon and thanked him and the government for renewing the registration, which is required for Adventists to worship and had been in jeopardy just weeks earlier.
Jordan’s parliament resolved the issue, Wilson said.
“We asked the minister to give thanks to the king of Jordan and to the prime minister,” he said by e-mail.
The Adventist Church only has about 150 members in the country, whose population is about 95 percent Muslim. But the Church has been legally authorized to function there by royal decree since 1960.
Wilson said he met with members at the Amman Seventh-day Adventist Church on Wednesday night “to bring them spiritual encouragement during these challenging times in the Middle East.”
Wilson, who lives near the world church’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, has traveled in recent weeks to Britain, Switzerland, Thailand, Egypt and Jordan. Among the highlights was a weeklong health conference attended by 1,150 Adventist leaders and health professionals in Geneva, and a pastoral conference of 1,200 people in Bangkok.
Curiously, Wilson’s return flight to the U.S. did not go off without a hitch. His Lufthansa flight, scheduled to leave Amman at 2:55 a.m. Thursday, landed late and then took about an hour longer than scheduled to reach Frankfurt after the pilots circumvented the airspace near the Tel Aviv airport and instead flew south over Cairo and then up to Germany, Wilson said.
Airlines are on alert in the region after a militant rocket landed near the Tel Aviv airport earlier this week, and a number of them have canceled flights to the Israeli city.
“We praise God for His protection and ask for God’s blessing and protection for His people in the Middle East and North Africa Union,” Wilson said.
After a few hours of rest, Wilson will fly to the U.S. West Coast to speak Friday night and Sabbath at the Soquel Camp Meeting organized by the Central California Conference.