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Bishop’s Unity Plea:CEN 12.14.07 p 7. December 14, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey.

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt led the Anglican delegation to last week’s meeting of the 9th General Assembly of the Middle East Council of Churches. (MECC)

Gathered in Paphos, Cyprus from Nov 26-30, church leaders from the Coptic, Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican and Evangelical traditions released a statement affirming Christian unity amidst continued political and social upheaval. The MECC is a fellowship of churches in Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq and Cyprus that seeks to foster cooperation among the disparate Christian minorities of the region.

Dr. Anis reported that the plight of Iraq’s Christians was a topic of concern for the Assembly, which “expressed its deep sorrow for the oppression and injustice with which the region’s population is afflicted, of wars and occupation, of destruction and death, of capacity and suppression.”

The delegates expressed their hope that the recently concluded Annapolis summit would break the cycle of violence in the region and urged Western Christians to stand in solidarity with their fellow believers in the Muslim world.

The final communiqué “looked forward to the day when people in the Middle East are liberated from the occupation and the injustice in Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan and Cyprus.”

They also called upon the people of Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon “to be united and to cease being apart and killing each other” such that “the unity that accepts the other with all its differences is strengthened through the honest and free dialogue.”

While united in their opposition to the political and ideological forces facing Middle Eastern Christians, concerns over the “sheep stealing” underlay the deliberations. Evangelical Christian groups have made in roads amongst the younger members of the Orthodox and Coptic communities, creating friction between the regions traditional churches and its newer arrivals.


1. Easter Dates - December 15, 2007

You can take a small step towards Christian Unity by signing the petition to unite the Dates of Easter at http://www.onedate.org that Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox would celebrate this Feast of Feasts all on One Date.

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