Middle East Council of Churches Gathers for 10th General Assembly

JERUSALEM, 14 December 2011 – Leaders and delegates from all the member churches that constitute the four families of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) gathered in Paphos, Cyprus 29-30 November for the 10th General Assembly.

The meeting was hosted by the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, which was represented by its Archbishop his Beatitude Chrysostomos II.

This was an important meeting for the MECC and, together, all four church families reaffirmed “that MECC remains the common meeting ground for all the Christians of the Middle East” and asserted its firm belief “that Christian unity remains the basic purpose and mission of the MECC.”

Together, those present also reaffirmed the deep rootedness of Christians in the East, who have “effectively participated in and contributed to the renaissance [of the Middle East] and have defended… the national rights of its inhabitants.”

In their final communiqué, the MECC stated that local Christians continue to “stand ready and committed to participate in the building of a new future for the Middle East… [and] call upon all the faithful to hold steadfast to their hope in the peaceful coexistence of the peoples of the Middle East.”

The General Assembly also issued a reminder not only to its immediately concerned parties, but especially to the International Community “of the need to preserve and protect fundamental human rights and principles, such as the freedom of thought, of religious belief and of political action.”

The General Assembly also called upon “all the adherents of the three monotheistic religions to interact with each other in the spirit of love – in thought and in deed.” It also endorsed and asserted “the need to continue with all dialogue initiatives currently taking place between Christians and Muslims.”

New presidents for the church families were also elected at the General Assembly, including Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan on behalf of the Evangelical family of churches. Younan will serve in this continuing capacity for a further four years. A new Executive Committee and General Secretary were also elected during the meetings.

Finally, the General Assembly offered their final assertion:

“As our Churches prepare to celebrate the feast of the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh, we assert our hope for our region and for the whole world. We leave the Assembly inspired by the change of the angelic host on Christmas night: “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth and hope to all people of good will.”

Click here to view the full Final Communiqué of the 10th General Assembly.

Click here to view photos from the 10th General Assembly.