The Speech of His Beatitude Patriarch Cardinal Sako at the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) Partners Meeting (7 May 2019, Lebanon)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
These meetings play a role in improving the spirit of unity among the churches in the East for common Christian witness in such a vibrant, spiritually and socially diverse region.
It is now more than ever, that the Eastern Churches represented by its’ four families: The Catholic, Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox and Evangelical/Protestant, need to unify their visions, perspectives and approaches, especially on issues related to Christian presence in the Middle East facing many challenges.
We hope that this meeting, in particular, will come up with practical steps towards the following:
- Interactive and cooperated Christian media, where we add to each other in strengthening our current stance in the Middle East. This kind of collaboration provides “our Churches” with the proper space to come together, pray, reflect, analyze, speak with a common voice, and witness together.
- Involve young people in projects that contribute to building the community / society, in which they live (such as sports, scouts, hands-on programs including serving poor, marginalized and oppressed people, etc.).
- Encourage activities that might serve as a bridge to reinforce and develop interfaith dialogue (Christian-Christian; Christians-Muslims; Christians-other religions; East Churches-Western Churches). Activities could be summer camps, educational competitions, with a focus on environmental issues etc.
Overall, partners will work as intermediaries between Christians and churches in the region and their brothers and sisters in Christ elsewhere, keeping in mind that we are all human beings, created in God’s image and likeness, with equal rights and responsibilities.
Thanks again and wish you a productive and successful meeting.