The MECC Executive Committee concludes sessions in Cyprus, issues statement

  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::element_type() should be compatible with views_handler_field::element_type($none_supported = false, $default_empty = false, $inline = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_query::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_query.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_field_user.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.

The MECC Executive Committee concludes sessions in Cyprus, issues statement

Cyprus-en.abouna.org

Over a two-day period, namely 21-22 January 2020, the Executive Committee of the Middle East Council of Churches held its periodic sessions in Larnaca, Cyprus, hosted by Archbishop of Nova Justiniana and All Cyprus Chrysostomos II. The sessions were attended by members of the executive committee from Cyprus, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Palestine.

The sessions were chaired by His Beatitude John X, patriarch of Antioch and All the East; His Beatitude Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East; His Beatitude Mar Louis Raphael I Sako, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, and rector of the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad; and Rev. Dr. Habib Badr, Senior Pastor of the National Evangelical Church of Beirut.

This meeting took place in the midst of the bloody and painful events that beset our Levantine countries. The Executive Committee of the Middle East Council of Churches members are aware of the mammoth suffering, pain and challenges experienced by the peoples of the region, including the Churches. They contemplated the mystery of Divine love, the compassion of Lord Jesus Christ, and His nonpareil love for human beings.

They urged the Christians in the Middle East to adhere to their faith and hold on to hope because God is present among us; He supports us and shares with us His divine life. They called on the member churches of the council to enhance their presence in support of every aggrieved, forcibly displaced, and migrant person who lost loved ones or possessions as a result of violence and wars, so that the Churches may remain an icon of divine kindness and love.

After the opening prayer as well as reviewing the agenda and approving the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee which was held at the headquarters of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East (Al-Atashana/Bikfaya-Lebanon on January January22-23, 2019), the discussions started on the first day in the areas relevant to spiritual renewal, the ecumenical and geopolitical challenges, and interfaith dialogue, in addition to the prospects of the institutional development of the Council and its re-empowerment, in the wake of the crisis in which it went through, in order to enhance its strategic policies in preparation for the 12th General Assembly. The second day was devoted to discussing the report presented by MECC Secretary General Dr. Souraya Bachaalany, which includes the achievements of the Council in 2019, future prospects, and a review of the annual reports presented by the departments, in addition to the financial report.

Based on the discussions, especially with regards to the challenges faced by Christians in the Middle East and their brethren, the conferees emphasized the following:

1- Promoting the ecumenical cooperation among the Churches of the Middle East in the theological, social, and media fields which demonstrates their choice in unity to bear witness to Jesus Christ who is raised from the dead.

2- Praying in order to uncover the fate of the two Archbishops Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim, who were kidnapped on April 22, 2013, and appealing to the world conscience to strive for their safe return so as to follow their message designed to restore peace and human dignity.

3- The escalation of tensions in the Middle East and the Arab world calls for prayer, striving for the attainment of peace, launching initiatives aimed at confronting the upsurge of extremism in a manner that protects the peace of society and human dignity, as well as providing wise and dialogue avenues to resolve disputes while rejecting any resort to violence and war.

4- The popular movement, taking place in Iraq, calls for a sustained contribution to achieving social justice, economic integrity, good governance, national sovereignty, as well as strengthening the principles of accountability and fighting corruption through an impartial judiciary.

5- The aggravating suffering of the Syrian people calls for exerting all efforts in all fields to lift the siege imposed on the people, to support efforts designed to establish security and the restoration of peace, as well as to work hard in order to provide the optimum conditions for the return of the forcibly displaced and refugees to their lands.

6- Highly valuing the efforts exerted by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for being entrusted with the custodianship of the Christian and Islamic sanctities in noble Jerusalem, as well as supporting and protecting the Christian presence in cooperation with the Churches. Furthermore, the Christian-Islamic dialogue and common living are highly valued based on citizenship.

7- The conferees pray for the rightful Lebanese peaceful movement designed to attain a decent living by fighting corruption, and demanding proper management of the resources in order to restore to Lebanon its civilized role as a model of encounter for the common good and for responsible freedom.

8- Supporting all efforts aimed at restoring unity to the island of Cyprus in a way that includes all the Cypriot people, at enhancing regional and international peace, and at ending the occupation that led to the division of the island.

9. Continuing the support extended to the Churches in Palestine, as well as highly valuing the steadfastness of the people despite their suffering in light of the occupation, as well as the apartheid and settlement policy, while calling for respect for the freedom to practise religious rites by all Palestinian Christians and Muslims, and respecting the existing legal and historical status quo based on the premise that East Jerusalem is the capital of an independent and viable Palestinian state.

10- The Egyptian people have always aspired to consolidate the values of citizenship, free from extremism and exclusion, while cementing common living at this stage which is reminiscent of Egypt’s brightness of common living.

11- The call by peoples of the region for full citizenship--that involves rights, duties, and includes diversity--calls for a review of the systems and laws. This proves that there is an exigent need to formulate a path that emphasizes the understanding of diversity as it is considered a wealth free from all kinds of sectarian and factional fanaticism and bigotry.

12- A review of the state of poverty and marginalization experienced by some segments of the peoples of the region calls on the state institutions and Church bodies to formulate development policies that preserve the individuals a decent life and to support them in their contribution to entrenching social justice and economic prosperity.

13- The Council calls on Christians in this blessed East to adhere to their land, heritage and identity with faith and hope, as well as to enhance their role in consolidating common living, mutual respect and social solidarity.

14- The persistence of asylum and displacement cases require a concerted effort with the international community, especially the United Nations and the religious bodies, so as to work hard in order to ensures the return of the refugees and the forcibly displaced to their homelands, as well as to help them secure a decent life in their countries in a way that protects their identity and civilization. It also requires the continued support by host communities, as well as providing bases for protecting the refugees and the displaced until the time they return home.

15- Activating coordination and communication in preparation for the meeting of the General Assembly of the Middle East Council of Churches, to be held September 16-19, 2020 in Lebanon, under the title "I am He, fear not (Matthew 4:27), which will be hosted by Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, and head of the Maronite Church Patriarch Moran Mor Bechara Boutros al-Rahi in Bkerki.

In conclusion, conferees thanked His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos II and the Orthodox Church in Cyprus for the kind hospitality. They also thanked Lord Jesus Christ Who brings His Church together in the love of unity, as they are confident that the Churches of the East have not and will never be alone in their testimony by renewing their faith in the promise of the Lord, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”(Matthew 28:20) The procession towards the 12th General Assembly will embody the testimony of the joint Churches and seek realistic and prophetic illumination on the role of Christians in this plagued East, especially with regards to the struggle for human dignity, which requires cooperation among officials to secure a future worthy of this civilization and values of this East where diversity is a model of living together.

Comment through the site Comment through facebook

Comments

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.