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King Abdullah of Jordan receives 2018 Templeton Prize

King Abdullah of Jordan has received the 2018 Templeton Prize at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.

The King received the award from Heather Templeton Dill, the President of the John Templeton Foundation, at the Washington National Cathedral in front of ambassadors, government officials from Jordan and the United States, media, religious leaders, and society leaders.

Templeton Dill said when presenting His Majesty with the award, “His Majesty King Abdullah II is a person shaped by temporal and political responsibilities, yet one who holds the conviction that religious belief and the free exercise of religion are among humankind’s most important callings.”

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres also spoke calling the King an “outstanding statesman, the messenger for peace,” as well as “a very dear friend.”

The Secretary General also remarked, “In this world where we see, unfortunately, proliferating both hatred and chaos, there are a few pillars of wisdom and compassion, and one of the most solid of these pillars is the awardee of this year’s Templeton Prize.”

The King told those assembled that he was “truly humbled” and went on to praise Jordan for their openness, “Everything you honour me for simply carries onward what Jordanians have always done, and how Jordanians have always lived—in mutual kindness, harmony, and brotherhood. And so, I accept this extraordinary prize, not on my own behalf, but on behalf of all Jordanians.”

After being awarded the 2018 Templeton Prize, King Abdullah’s wife, Queen Rania of Jordan posted on Twitter, “Your voice of peace and moderation has transcended the rhetoric of hate and division advocated by extremist factions operating on the fringes of Islam. With everything the world has weathered over the past two decades, your efforts are worth no less than the 2018 Templeton Prize.”

The King also later said on the social media network, “Humbled to receive the Templeton Prize on behalf of all Jordanians. This extraordinary prize recognises how Jordanians have always lived: in mutual kindness, harmony, and brotherhood.”

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