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Ten Facts about the Middle East Council of Churches

Monday, 11 May 2015 03:35 PM

The Middle East Council of Churches, the MECC, is an umbrella group for all the Christian faiths in the Middle East. Its members strive to find unity among the Christian faiths and peace in the troubled region. At the first general assembly held at Nicosia, Cyprus, in early 1974, the council came into being with very little difficulty.

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At that first assembly the Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox and the Protestant churches were the pioneering members. The Latin and Oriental Catholic churches joined the Council in 1990. Each branch of Christianity on the Council has equal membership of governing bodies and of the general assembly. The faiths decide on their own membership to the Council of Churches.

Since its formation, the MECC has helped form a forum for discussion among the Christian faiths of the Middle East.

Here are 10 facts about the Middle East Council of Churches, MECC:

1. There are 27 member churches in the MECC operating in 12 countries of the Middle East.

2. Membership of the Council comes from the four main Christian churches of the Middle East. They are the Eastern Catholic, Oriental Catholic, Roman Catholic and the Protestant denominations.

3. The Middle East Council of Churches came into being at the first synod at Nicosia, Cyprus, in 1974 when the Roman Catholic Church joined the other Christian faiths.

4. The Middle East Council of Churches has a combined congregation of between 12 and 14 million people throughout the Levant.

5. The head offices of the MECC are in Beirut, Lebanon, with smaller offices in Jerusalem, Limassol, Cairo, Amman, and Damascus.

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6. The MECC is a regional member of the World Council of Churches.

7. The current general secretary of the MECC is a Maronite from Beirut, the Rev. Dr. Michel Jalakh.

8. The legislative body of the MECC is the General Assembly and meets every four years. It comprises the heads of the member churches and delegates appointed by individual churches.

9. The General Assembly elects the general secretary of the council at its four yearly meetings.

10. There have been 10 General Assemblies since the formation of the MECC in 1974. Each has had a theme that reflects the unity of the denominations involved in searching for peace in the region.

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