The Ninth General Assembly
“So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through
The Ninth General Assembly of the Middle East Council of Churches
convened in Paphos-Cyprus during the period 26-30 November, 2007
with the theme ““So we are ambassadors for
Christ, God making his appeal through us” (2 Cor 5:20).
Present in this Assembly were the four presidents of the Council:
H.H. Pope Shenouda III and their Eminences Archishop Dorotheos,
Metropolitan Yuhanna Kolta and Rev. Dr. Safwat el Bayadi, and the
Council’s General Secretary Guirguis Ibrahim Saleh. Present also
were delegations representing the member churches: The Orthodox, the
Oriental Orthodox, the Evangelical and the Catholic. In addition a
number of the revered heads of churches in the Middle East
participated in this Assembly: The Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos
II, Patriarch Ignatios Zacca I Iwas, Patriarch of Jerusalem
Theophilos III, Patriarch Gregorios III Lahham, Patriarch Antonios
Naguib, Patriarch Ignatios Boutros VIII Abd el Ahad, Rev. Dr. Salim
Sahiouny, Bishop Munib Younan, and Bishop Munir Hanna Anis. Present
also were representatives from the Ecumenical Councils in the World
and representatives of some ecumenical agencies.
The opening session was attended by the Ambassadors of the Arab
Republic of Egypt, the Lebanese Republic and the Syrian Republic.
A word of appreciation and thanks was first addressed to the
Orthodox Church of Cyprus for receiving the Assembly and following
up all its works through the presence of its Archbishop, then the
participants studied and discussed during four days the General
Secretary’s report and learned about the various activities and
services carried out by the churches through the Council’s
divisions, departments and programs and its offices in Beirut,
Cairo, Jerusalem, Amman, Damascus, Limassol, Baghdad and the Gulf.
The participants gave their comments and expressed their vision for
the coming period and emphasized the necessity to activate the
ecumenical partnership in the theological, studies, prayers and
services’ dialogue in compliance with the Council’s aims in
animating the work towards the unity of the church and its witness
in the Middle East and the World. They also emphasized the
importance of the dialogue, cooperation and communication with all
the Muslims in order to build a more peaceful and just world.
The participants also discussed ways for the consolidation of the
Christians in the Middle East and strengthening their presence for
its developments, advancement and formation of its civilizations.
And in order to activate the Council’s work and make it more useful
and of greater impact, the General Assembly put forward the
question of the administrative structure of the Council for review
and up-dating in order for the Council’s work to achieve its aim.
The issues in the Countries of the Middle East were present in the
prayers, reports and discussions. The General Assembly 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 General Assembly was
informed about what befalls the Christians in Iraq, as they are
forced to emigrate, their churches are assaulted and their clergy
As people of hope, the participants addressed a message to the
leaders’ meeting in Anapolis asking for the realization of the
comprehensive and just peace in their region and that the legitimate
rights be returned to their owners.
The Assembly 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, and when the
prisoners are set free, then the human being regains his dignity and
rights as he was created at the image of God. The participants
addressed their Palestinian, Iraqi and Lebanese brothers calling on
them to be united and to cease being apart and killing each other so
that love fills back their hearts and their unity gets stronger, the
unity that accepts the other will all his differences and its
straightened through the hones and free dialogue.
For all that, the General Assembly called on the churches in the
World to stand by her in supporting her requests in all the
international circles and before their governments.
Finally, the General Assembly elected H.H. Pope Shenouda III an
Honorary President to the Council, so we are also elected the
Metropolitan Yuhanna Kolta and the Archbishop
of Abella Dorotheos.
The four presidents to the Council were also elected and they are:
H.H. Catholicos Aram I, H.B. Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III,
Rev. Dr. Safwat El Bayadi, H.E. Archbishop Boulos Matar.
The members of the Executive Committee were also elected. And there
was a renewal for the General Secretary Mr. Guirgis Saleh for
another term of 4-years.