SISTERS AND BROTHERS AROUND THE WORLD
In May 2013, over 130 church leaders from all over the world, representing member churches of the World Council of Churches, gathered in Fatka, Lebanon, to discuss ways the world community can support Christians in the Middle East.
In the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011, long-standing dictatorships or controlling leaders were overthrown in several nations, the most notable ones being Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.
These changes came at a cost for some Christian communities as certain militant factions became more powerful, leaving Christians feeling vulnerable and alone. The instability in Syria during the early part of 2013 was also on the minds and hearts of the assembled council. Two archbishops—the leaders of the Syrian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox churches in Aleppo—had been kidnapped a month before the WCC meeting.
After the four-day consultation in Fatka, the World Council of Churches issued a statement calling on the world church to support the Christians of the Middle East, to encourage new leadership in faith communities there, to lift up the gifts of women and children, to offer programmatic support to the Middle East Council of Churches, and to keep the region in our prayers.
The United Church of Canada is an active member of the World Council of Churches and supports programs through the Middle East Council of Churches, both M&S partners. In the spirit of Christ, we believe that when one body of the faith is suffering, we are all affected.
Your gifts for Mission and Service support Christians in the Middle East. Please continue to give generously.
Mighty and tender God, our gifts to M&S help your church to
do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you.