Final Statement Middle East Council of Churches Executive Committee Meeting

The Executive Committee of the Middle East Council of Churches held its regular meeting in Beirut on Friday and Saturday, November 17 and 18, 2023. The meeting was chaired by His Eminence Anba Antonios, Archbishop of Jerusalem and the Near East for the Coptic Orthodox and MECC President for the Eastern Orthodox family, His Beatitude Patriarch John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East for the Greek Orthodox and MECC President for the Orthodox family, represented by His Excellency Metropolitan Antonios Al Souri, Metropolitan of Zahle, Baalbek and their dependencies, His Excellency Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, President of the Association of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East and MECC President for the Evangelical Family, and His Beatitude Patriarch Raphael Bedros XXI Menassian,  and Catholicos Patriarch of Cilicia for the Armenian Catholics and MECC President for the Catholic Family, represented by His Excellency Archbishop Boutros Marayati, Archbishop of Aleppo. The meeting was attended by members of the Executive Committee from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, and Palestine, representatives of the Middle Eastern churches, members of the MECC, the Secretary-General Dr. Michel Abs, the Associate Secretary Generals, and the General Secretariat team of directors of departments and sections, and administrators.

At the beginning of the meeting, the participants observed a minute of silence and prayed for the relief of the souls of the victims of the bloody war in Palestine, especially in the Gaza Strip.

The most prominent issue on which the participants focused was the situation in Palestine. They condemned all forms of violence, regardless of their source, and strongly condemned the war raging there, which is destroying people and infrastructure, especially in the Gaza Strip. This war has left thousands of victims, wounded and injured, especially among children, the elderly, and women. They demanded an immediate and definitive ceasefire, an end to genocide, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity against the Palestinian people, and the release of all prisoners. They called on the churches in the world, the international community, and all people of good will, to exert all efforts to silence weapons and establish a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace by ending the occupation and the siege that led to what we see today as a brutal war that does not respect international conventions that protect hospitals, schools, places of worship, and the civilian population. They condemned these inhumane acts that contradict our Christian faith…

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