The Executive Committee of the Middle East Council of Churches held an exceptional meeting, as the Council's Twelfth General Assembly was scheduled to take place at this time. However, the exceptional circumstances imposed by the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the inability of direct meeting between members from different countries and churches, and replacing it with virtual electronic means for the member churches in Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Cyprus, produced a legal agreement on this exceptional meeting, which was hosted in Lebanon by His Beatitude Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi - Patriarch of Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch at the Maronite Patriarchate in Bkerke with the participation of His Beatitude Youhanna X - Patriarch of Antioch and All the East for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and president of the Council for the Greek Orthodox Family, His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II - Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church who is the president of the Council for the Eastern Orthodox Family, and Right Rev. Dr. Habib Badr, President of the National Evangelical Union Lebanon and president of the Council for the Evangelical Family. His Beatitude Mar Louis Raphael Sako – Patriarch of Babylon for Chaldeans and president of the Council for the Catholic family, participated electronically from Iraq. And in a generous initiative, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II - Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church hosted members of the Committee from the various churches in Egypt at the Papal Headquarters in the Coptic Orthodox Church of in Cairo.Read more
With the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, MECC Executive Committee will meet in Cyprus.
As the Middle East and the Arab World witness a very dangerous period, and the citizens of this region including Christians who are an integral part of the region’s cultural identity, face huge challenges, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins.Read more
The Theological and Ecumenical Department of the Middle East Council of Churches has launched its process entitled " Kairos Middle East Towards Churches Global Compact " in a first consultation seminar that brought together about 25 experts in theology and geopolitics from Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and Jordan. The seminar took place over a three-day period from 6 till 8 December 2019 in Bethania, Lebanon.Read more
In the run up to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, European churches are urging the European institutions to increase their efforts to ensure respect and protection of places of worship and holy sites, both in the EU law and in the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
These church leaders were participants of a conference organised by the Conference or European Churches and the Church of Cyprus, in Nicosia, Cyprus, from 9-10 November.Read more
The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) held its 11th General Assembly this week, bringing leaders from regional churches together to pursue a unified ecclesiastical voice in the midst of human suffering that is permeating the region.Read more
By Claus Grue*
Facilitating peace requires conviction, political independence and endurance. Add a whole lot of passion and native Cypriot Salpy Eskidjian fits perfectly into that job description. Since she started in 2011 as executive coordinator of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process (RTCYPP), which is operating under the auspices of the Embassy of Sweden in Nicosia, she has tirelessly – and successfully – sought to engage religious leaders in a dialogue for peace.Read more
The value of dialogue among religious leaders in Cyprus goes beyond its shores and can become a model for the Middle East and other regions, said Greek Orthodox Bishop Porfyrios of Neapolis and Turkish mufti Dr Talip Atalay. They were speakers at a meeting titled “Interreligious Communication, Freedom of Religion and Peace Building”.Read more
The re-opening of the Church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) Galakdodrofousas in Palekythro, Cyprus, after 41 years was hailed by the World Council of Churches (WCC) as an important sign of peace and reconciliation. The church opened its doors to worshippers on 16 August, according to a press release issued by the Office of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process, under the auspices of the Embassy of Sweden.Read more
A Diyar/Dar al-Kalima Conference on "Shifting Identities: Changes in the social, political, and religious structures in the Arab World"
Cyprus, July 2015: Responding to an invitation from the Diyar Consortium/Dar al-Kalima University College for Arts and Culture based in Bethlehem, a group of Christian academicians and young graduates, supported by Muslim intellectuals and academics, gathered together in 2014 to contemplate on the challenges, opportunities, and a possible role within the Arab world. Together they developed a document entitled "From the Nile to the Euphrates: A Call of Faith and Citizenship." The document was launched in Beirut on December 5, 2014, which coincided with the establishment of a platform for Middle Eastern thought, communication, and dialogue called The Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW).
Diyar’s 11th international conference was held from July 3 to 5 in in Pafos, Cyprus. Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture, the academic arm of Diyar, in cooperation with The Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World organized an international conference entitled "Shifting Identities: Changes in the social, political, and religious structures in the Arab World".Read more
The World Council of Churches (WCC) has hailed news of a resumption of talks between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders on the longstanding division of the island of Cyprus.
The statement, issued on 18 May in Geneva by WCC general secretary Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, encouraged leaders on both sides, affirming their announced commitment “to work tirelessly to reach as soon as possible a comprehensive settlement of the Cyrus question” and to pursue a “shared vision for a united federal Cyprus.”Read more