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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Secretary-general of the Middle East Council for Churches in Egypt to promote religious unity

Sarah Al-Nemr, Monday 17 Dec 2018
Soraya Bechalany, Andrea Zaki
Soraya Bechalany, Secretary-General of Middle East Council for Churches (MECC) with Andrea Zaki, the head of the Evangelical Community in Egypt (Photo: Courtesy of MECC Official Facebook page)
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In a first, the Middle East Council for Churches (MECC) Secretary-General Soraya Bechealany is in Cairo to discuss unity and acceptance between Christian sects with officials from different Christian denominations. 

On Monday, Bechealany met with the head of the Evangelical Community in Egypt Andrea Zaki, who is also the general-director of the Coptic Evangelical Organisation for Social Services (CEOSS).

During the meeting, Zaki stressed on the importance of the notion of unity between churches for his community.

"We believe that unity between churches signifies a shared sense of Christian belief," Zaki told Bechealany, adding that "we aim to promote building and reinforcing notions of cultural and religious acceptance and the appropriate integration of differences."

Bechealany said that her visit to Egypt, which started on Saturday, comes in light of her belief in the importance of the Egyptian churches and the valuable heritage they boast.

On Sunday, Bechealany met with the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II at Saint Mark's Cathedral in Cairo's Abbasiya district.

Bechealany with head of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II at Saint Mark
Bechealany meets with the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II at Saint Mark's Cathedral in Cairo's Abbasiya district

Later on Sunday, the Lebanese theologian met with Bishop Armiah (Jeremiah), the head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Centre, as well as a number of journalists.

Soraya Bechalany
Bechealany meets with Bishop Armiah (Jeremiah), the head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Centre

Armiah told Bechealany that this is the first time for an open discussion to be held with journalists to introduce the role of the MECC in Islamic-Christian discourse, a statement by the Coptic cultural centre said.

"The role that you are playing will not only be beneficial to the East, but will also have an effect in the West, as the world must understand the meaning of differences and acceptance of the other, so that we could all live for building nations and maintaining peace; this is the true message of Christianity," said Armiah. 

The MECC is an ecumenical entity that aims to bring together different churches and reach consensus and peace, where each church leader would add their respective input based on their own vision. The council has successfully brokered many agreements among multiple churches.

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