MECC Concluding the International Ecumenical Youth Meeting: 1600 Young People from 43 Countries Declared Aloud: Our Unity is in Our Diversity

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At the end of the International Ecumenical Youth Meeting held in Beirut on March 22-26, 2019, that hosted 1600 young people from 43 countries, the Middle East Council of Churches and the representatives of the Churches of Lebanon, together with the Taizé Ecumenical Community declare the following:

a- The young people who participated in this meeting have clearly manifested a prophetic boldness to stand for tolerance, dialogue, and coexistence, in a way to be immunized against the currents of prejudice and conflicts lead by national racist and populist tendencies. Their steadfastness in this choice that reflects the Gospel is a strong proof of their respect to the human dignity, regardless of religious identity. Hence, they are much appreciated.

b- The churches have proved their capacity for ecumenical collaboration in an action that was based on theological perspective and a fellowship of deep prayer. Therefore, we address much love and appreciation to the leaders of our Churches.

c- The Lebanese families that hosted the young people coming to Lebanon have proved that they are very well rooted in the values of encountering the others, of welcoming them, and of realizing the particularity of the people that came to share their days of prayer and meditation. To these families we address all our love and appreciation.

d- The Taizé Community proved that it holds in its heart, mind, prayer, and being, the suffering and hopes of the youth around the world, especially those who are fighting for peace and coexistence in the Middle East. The Taizé community has a special prayer for the brothers to keep holding the lit flame of ecumenism.

e- The Christian-Muslim meeting, organized by the Adyan Foundation under the theme “Together around Our Lady Mary”, proved that no matter how some people try to destroy coexistence, the path that brings us together in the expectation of love will stay stronger, more effective, and more influential. Hence, we extend our thanks to the Adyan Foundation, wishing that it continues further in building bridges.

f- The Lebanese Media, without exception, and mainly our partners showed a great responsibility in broadcasting the core of the event, away from folkish tendencies. This asserts the commitment of the Lebanese Media in backing edifying initiatives despite all the challenges. Therefore, we address our many thanks and prayers, may the Lord grant them to remain the voice of truth.

The Middle East Council of Churches promises the youth to continue its ecumenical mission, inviting all the people of good will to promote fruitful initiatives of love and encounter in these times, difficult, yet full of the hope of resurrection.

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