LONDON: Jordanian King Abdullah II has received the 2018 Templeton Prize at a ceremony held at the Washington National Cathedral.
The event earlier this month was attended by ambassadors, Jordanian and US government officials, and Washington political, religious, media, and society leaders.
The King received the award from the Pennsylvania-based John Templeton Foundation, for doing “more to seek religious harmony within Islam and between Islam and other religions than any other living political leader.”
Speaking at the ceremony, King Abdullah said: “I am truly humbled to be recognised by all of you. But let me say, 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.”
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, who attended the ceremony on Nov 13, described the king as “the outstanding statesman, the messenger for peace.”
Heather Templeton Dill, president of the John Templeton Foundation, said King Abdullah “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.”
Previous winners include Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.