Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Monday, 27 May 2024
Middle East Council of Churches implements environmental activities in Egypt :

Environment, justice, climate, reducing environmental injustice are all issues that the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) is keen to raise awareness about, stemming from its belief in the importance of preserving the creation that God has entrusted us with and protecting our common home. Therefore, within the series of “Environmental Days” that MECC had previously launched, the MECC Theological and Ecumenical Department, EcoJustice Unit, continues its environmental work in various countries of the Middle East, emphasizing the need to join hands and pray together for a safer and more prosperous future.


In this context, MECC implemented several environmental activities in Egypt, including awareness campaigns on environmental justice, which were held by the Archdeacon Garen Yosolkanian, Manager of the MECC EcoJustice Unit. This is in addition to ecotheological think-meeting held by Yosolkanian with many groups, associations, Theological centers, and interested people with the aim of empowering Church leaders, servants, and educational workers and developing their environmental capabilities.


Moreover, MECC organized other environmental activities, such as the inauguration of a Chrism orchard in the city of Assiut, as well as the preparations to plant the Joy Orchad in the same city, on 14 and 15 of last March. With the support of the “Danmission” organization, and cooperation with the Assiut Church and the “All People” organization in this city, the Joy orchard was planted with palm trees of Barhi variety, lemon trees of Meyer variety, sapouti shrubs of Eden variety and loquat of Ahmar variety.

On this occasion, the Middle East Council of Churches, in coordination with Dr. Achraf and Dr. Ibrahim, held a celebration on 22 March 2024, in the presence of Archdeacon Garen Yosolkanian, representatives of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS), and the Coptic Orthodox, Coptic Catholic and Evangelical Churches.


The celebration began with an opening speech addressed by Mr. Adel Toufic from the “All People” organization, in which he thanked the Middle East Council of Churches, the “Danmission” organization, and the denominations in Assiut. The celebration also included the Prayer service of the “Season of Creation,” where participants recited the Psalm 92, “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon,” and raised their prayers on the intention of the Joy Orchad. A group of children presented thyme plants of the “pharaonic” and “ptolemic” varieties showing the strength of Egyptian families.


In addition, Archdeacon Garen highlighted the MECC mission and work, especially the activities of the EcoJustice Unit. He also gave a reflection in which he spoke about the heritage of the palm tree in the Holy Bible, the history of agriculture, and the history of the ascetic life of the holy fathers who lived under palm trees, focusing on the palm tree in the Book of Ezekiel (41: 18-21). Then, representatives of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS) presented an overview about the organization’s activities in all Egyptian governorates, especially its agricultural and environmental initiatives.


It should be noted that the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) has implemented several afforestation campaigns in various countries of the region, as it works to prepare for future environmental activities.