SECRETARY GENERAL MESSAGE
Throughout the confrontations of our times, remain the signs of hope. Indeed, we, Churches, communities and believers, men and women, we see hope and life making their way among humans and societies. For the Middle East Council of Churches, it cannot be otherwise.
The new website highlights these spaces of faith and hope, and bears witness to what has been achieved together in the service of life. You will find your own contribution, and that of others too. You will meet the familiar fields of Diakonia, along with new ones that we began to build and re-establish as these two departments: "Theology and Ecumenism" on one hand, and "Communication and Public Relations" on the other. These two complement the work of other Council departments such as the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees “DSPR”. They build on the beautiful heritage of the past and open up to the challenges of the present time.
Dear friends of MECC, we thank the Lord for what we have been able to build together and surrender to Him what remains for the service of the dignity, the freedom, and the future of the human person. Together, we look onto the future with the firm and ever renewed conviction of building a world with more justice and fraternity.
May the Lord bless the work of our hands, and to Him be the glory for ages.
Dr Souraya Bechealany
Secretary General | Middle East Council of Churches
Being the tangible expression of the Christian presence in the region, the Council’s mission is to work towards the unification of visions, perspectives and attitudes among Eastern churches, especially on issues related to Christian presence and witness in the Middle East and Muslim-Christian relations.
The Council’s mission is seen today as being a bridge:
A bridge between Eastern Christians: to remove prejudices and barriers between churches, the MECC brings together the vast majority of Christians and churches in the Middle East. It provides them the adequate space to come together, pray, reflect, analyze, speak with a common voice, and act and witness together.
A bridge between Christians and peoples of other religions in the region, especially with Muslims: to reinforce and develop organized dialogue and partnerships with enlightened Muslims aiming at strengthening and deepening friendship and peace between people for the good of humanity.
A bridge between the Middle East churches and Western churches: to be a mediator between Christians and churches in the region and their brothers and sisters in Christ elsewhere.
The Middle East Council of Churches is a fellowship of Churches which believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Redeemer as per the holy books and Church tradition; together they endeavor to fulfill their common mission and realize their desired unity for the glory of the one God.
The year 1974 witnessed the foundation of the Middle East Council of Churches in a region which is the cradle of Christianity, as it was formed then of the three families of Churches: the Evangelical, the Oriental Orthodox and the Greek Orthodox. In the year 1990, the Catholic family of Churches joined the Council which was thus formed of the four families of Churches in the region.
Here, in this East which witnessed the birth of the monotheistic religions, Abraham, his children and his grandchildren have travelled through the region; and here grew the prophets, the priests, the wise men and the apostles mentioned in the Bible. In this East, in Palestine Jesus Christ was born and the mystery of incarnation and the promise of salvation mentioned by the first prophets were realized. In this East, the Church was born from the side of the crucified Master and in it the Resurrection took place and from it the Good News spread to the whole world. In this East, Jesus Christ completed the mystery of redemption and descended the Holy Spirit upon the disciples commanding them to preach the Word and baptize everyone in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
In Antioch, the disciples were first called Christians (ACTS 11:26). From that time on, the Christians in the region played a pioneering and vital role in the making of the civilization of the East; they are still playing this role and witnessing to God despite the challenges they face; they are performing the Christian witness in their daily life through their commitment in living the evangelical values and complying with the regulations of the land, the citizenship and the living together.
The Middle East Council of Churches performs its ecumenical mission through the same witness and derives its authority and legitimacy from the gathered member Churches. The Council relates to the international ecumenical movement and actively participates in all the contemporary ecumenical activities. Thus, the Council, which represents almost all Christians in the region, aims at consolidating relations among the Churches in the region and at bringing views on theological issues closer together. The Council also maintains a dialogue of love and a life of centuries-old inherited partnership between the Christians and the Muslims.
The administrative structure of the Council is based on the principle of ‘ecclesial family’. By ‘ecclesial family’ is meant a group of Churches that are in full communion with each other. This administrative structure allows the representation of a greater number of diverse Churches and enables them to work together in the name of Jesus Christ and to bring views in controversial issues closer together especially those that led to the first schisms in the Church.
The Council derives its authorities from the member Churches and is responsible to them assembled, as they are represented by its four presidents (one president from each family of Churches), and to the executive committee.