“Hope can endure if we keep God first.”
Even in the midst of a terrible civil war, the Christian church in Syria is strong and committed to caring for people who have been affected by the conflict, said Najla Kassab, president of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, during the Stob Lecture wrapping up this year’s Calvin University January Series.
Kassab pointed out that Calvin University, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, was where the World Communion of Reformed Churches was founded in 2010. She has been involved in its work since then and was elected president in 2017.
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
What are the Lebanese Protesting About?
Dr. George Sabra, President, Near East School of Theology
Since Thursday October 17, 2019 a spontaneous popular uprising has been spreading all over Lebanon’s
cities and towns. Thousands upon thousands of people have gathered in public squares, on streets and roads
to vent their anger against the corruption of the ruling political class that has led the country not just to the
brink of, but to actual economic and financial collapse. Decades of corruption, mismanagement of the country’s
economic problems, and sectarian power struggle have led to this situation, and the people are fed up.
The Lebanese rose up in a popular movement that mobilized young and old, men and women, Christians and Muslims, and they have been protesting and demonstrating for the last two months.
Since October 17, Lebanon, the “Land of the Cedars,” seems to be in the midst of a popular uprising that some call a revolution. Yet there is so much more in the current crisis than what meets the eye. There has been a spontaneous (it seems) outburst of rage against the acceptance of corruption as an inevitable fact of life; against the dependence on stop-gap measures to keep utilities (sort of) rolling along, as has been the case in the three decades since the end of the civil war; against the lack of a system of holding people accountable (hardly an institution in this country, public or private, functions without some “irregularities” in operations or hiring); against the partnerships of local groups with outside powers, each having its own agenda; and against what underlies it all: the deeply entrenched patronage system in the country (thanks to the Ottomans, then the French, then the Lebanese themselves).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
Since this prayer and worship moment were written, Lebanon has experienced protest demonstrations and the resignation of the Prime Minister and his cabinet. The churches in Lebanon issued this joint statement during the protests in October. Please keep Lebanon in your prayers during this time of social and political change.
Lectionary Selection: Luke 20:27-38
Prayers for Lebanon:
Almighty God, today as we pray for Lebanon, we trust in your wisdom, patience, and authority. We open your Word and we read this message again and again.
While teaching in the temple, you were questioned and tested numerous times by those trying to trap you, not to trust you. But you took the time to show them that your message was about life and living.
When we come to you, help us to trust you and not to doubt your wisdom or your plan. You know each of us, you know our questions and our needs. Grant us peace in this place where there is so much unrest and turmoil. As the country faces economic uncertainty and hardship, encourage us and give us hope. Help us to be confident in the certainty of your sovereignty and authority over all. Guide us to stand firm and focus on the living Word.
Hear us O lord. Listen to our cry. Turn your ear to us and hear our prayer, for our hope is in you. Amen.Read more
Bendito sea el Dios y Padre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo, Padre de misericordias y Dios de toda consolación, el cual nos consuela en todas nuestras tribulaciones, para que podamos también nosotros consolar a los que están en cualquier tribulación, por medio de la consolación con que nosotros somos consolados por Dios. 2 Corintios 1:3-4Read more
Lampedusa: Events of the last few weeks
Leggi in italiano Rome (NEV), 18 October 2019 – After the commemorations of 3 October, Lampedusa has fallen back into its tragic routine. In the last two weeks, 20 people died in the Mediterranean, their bodies were recovered by the coastguard and brought to the island. As for the landings, in the same period 21 fortunate people made it safely. Read more....Read more
World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed grave concern for people’s rights and well-being in Lebanon.
Hundreds of thousands of people in all regions of the country have been gathering for nearly two weeks in peaceful and widespread anti-government protests. Recognizing the breadth and significance of the public mobilization, Prime Minister Saad Hariri has today announced that he will tender his resignation and that of the government.Read more
The new issue of the Middle East Council of Churches' quarterly magazine, al-Muntada, (September-October 2019) is now available. Al-Muntada is a platform where all free voices can be heard with your participation and support!