Under the title, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid” (Matthew 14:27), the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) kicks off its 12th General Assembly on Monday, May 16, 2022, focusing on many issues related to the Middle Eastern Christians, their challenges, aspirations and strength of their presence in unity.
Participants from the MECC four Church will define a future vision that guarantee the consolidation of the ecumenical spirit and the achievement of the most important humanitarian and social goals among all the people of the region.
The MECC General Assembly will take place for the first time in the Arab Republic of Egypt with the hospitality of the Coptic Orthodox Church, headed by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, at the Papal Logos Center in Wadi El Natrun, and with the support of the Evangelical Church in Egypt. The General Assembly will last until Friday 20 May 2022 ending with the issue of the final statement which is expected to bring new hope to the Christians and all the people of the region.
This historic and ecumenical event will be held with the participation of 21 Churches from the Middle East, and with the blessings and presence of around 17 Patriarchs, Presidents of Churches and MECC Presidents who are H.H. Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church and MECC President for the Eastern Orthodox family, H.B. Patriarch John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and MECC President for the Orthodox family, H.B. Patriarch Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, Chaldean Patriarch in Iraq and the World and MECC President for the Catholic family, R. Rev. Dr. Habib Badr, President of the National Evangelical Union in Lebanon and MECC President for the Evangelical Church.
The Assembly will be also attended by the Heads of the Middle Eastern Churches and are H.H. Catholicos Aram I, Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Cilicia, H.B. Patriarch Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa for the Greek Orthodox Church, H.B. Patriarch Youssef Absi, Patriarch of Antioch and All The East, Alexandria and Jerusalem of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki, President of the Evangelical Churches in Egypt, H.B. Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syriac Catholic Church, H.B. Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak, Patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church, H.B. Raphael Bedros X Minassian, Patriarch of the Armenian Catholic Church of Cilicia, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, President of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East, H.B. Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Rev. Joseph Kassab, General Secretary of the Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon and President of the Supreme Council of the Evangelical Synod in Syria and Lebanon, H.E. Archbishop Dr. Sami Fawzy Shehata, Archbishop of the Episcopal Province of Alexandria, Diocesan Bishop of Egypt, H.E. Archbishop Sani Ibrahim Charlie Azar, Head of the Lutheran Evangelical Church in Jordan and The Holy Land.
In addition, many Bishops will participate heading their Churches’ delegations, alongside members of the MECC Executive Committee, guests, experts, specialists and MECC Partners and friends from various Churches and Ecumenical organizations in the world such as Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, Cyprus, UAE, UK, USA, Germany, Canada, Sweden and Switzerland. As well as, the MECC Secretary General Dr. Michel Abs will be heading the MECC Associate Secretaries General and the team of the Council’s General Secretariat.
In this framework, the General Assembly will have several sessions including welcome speeches from the MECC Presidents and heads of the participating delegations, and the report of the Secretary General Dr. Michel Abs will be also presented. During the Assembly, many worshops will be held takeling the MECC Strategies: Diakonia and Social Service, Communication and Advocacy, Christian Witness and Ecumenical Relations, Dialogue and Social Cohesion - Social Capital Rehabilitation, and Organizational Development and Sustainability. Moreover, new MECC Presidents and members of the Executive Committee will be elected for the next four years. At the end of its meetings, the General Assembly will issue the final statement and the recommendations of its participants.
It is worth mentioning that the General Assembly is the supreme authority of the Middle East Council of Churches and it holds a regular meeting every four years to discuss matters related to the Christian presence in the Middle East. Noting that the Coronavirus pandemic and its danger repercussions prevented the General Assembly of being held on its schedule date during 2020.