World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / What we do / Solidarity with churches in the Middle East

Solidarity with churches in the Middle East

The situation of the Middle East calls for collective efforts by ecumenical partners to achieve peace and justice at local, national, regional and international levels. The WCC aims to build a space where the entire ecumenical movement can put its collective energies and resources together for lasting peace.
Solidarity with churches in the Middle East

© Paul Jeffrey/ACT

The situation of the Middle East calls for collective efforts by ecumenical partners to achieve peace and justice at local, national, regional and international levels. Major problems in the region include armed occupation of territory, denial of human rights and national aspirations, failures to implement the rule of law at the national and international levels, various forms of extremism and intolerance, and nuclear proliferation in Israel and Iran. Interlinked with these is the question of control of energy resources.

The WCC is accompanying its member churches in the region, especially in Egypt, Syria and Iraq, where the recent dramatic, violent developments have endangered the Christian presence and witness. It has maintained attention on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and supported United Nation resolutions and other efforts for a peaceful and just settlement of that conflict.

The WCC attempts to broaden and deepen churches' work for just peace in the Middle East. It is committed to building their capacity to witness to peacemaking, undertake advocacy work at the local and national levels, and influence the policies of the major global and regional powers. It attempts to ensure that the core rationale for church strategy in the region is known and used by interested member churches around the world.

Collective policy development and coordinated ecumenical action focus on inter-religious relations, diakonia, overcoming violence, and public witness. Project stakeholders and staff mobilize church leaders and members to express their faith through concrete actions for a just peace. Advocacy and media work aim to strengthen the position of the churches in the region.

By establishing an Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) as a global advocacy network of churches in North and South with shared responsibility for broadening and deepening church actions for peace, the WCC hopes to help bring about policy changes in the Middle East, and especially in the Israel/Palestine conflict.

The Jerusalem Interchurch Centre (JIC) functions as a coordination point for ecumenical action in and for Jerusalem and its churches. A joint project of the Jerusalem churches, the WCC and the Middle East Council of Churches, the centre is to provide timely and regular information, analysis and reports to the ecumenical community, and strengthen local churches' capacity for diaconal work as well as local ecumenical and inter-faith relations.

Inaugurated in August 2002, the mission of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) is to accompany Palestinians and Israelis in their non-violent actions and concerted advocacy efforts to end the occupation.

Read more about the history of WCC engagement for peace in the region

Campaign "Seek #JusticeAndPeace in the Holy Land"

Related Events

World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel

World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel

17 - 24 September 2017 Worldwide

During this week which includes the International Day of Prayer for Peace on 21st September, church organizations, congregations, and people of faith are encouraged to make a common witness by participating in worship services, educational events, and acts of supports to support peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians.

Related News

Christian organizations in Palestine release open letter

Christian organizations in Palestine release open letter

At an International Peace Consultation on 20 June, the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine issued on open letter to the WCC and the ecumenical movement, stating, “There is still no justice in our land.” In today’s Palestine, discrimination and inequality, military occupation and systematic oppression are the rule, the letter states: “Today, we stand in front of an impasse and we have reached a deadlock. Despite all the promises, endless summits, UN resolutions, religious and lay leader’s callings – Palestinians are still yearning for their freedom and independence, and seeking justice and equality.”

المنظمات المسيحية في فلسطين تصدر خطابا مفتوحا

المنظمات المسيحية في فلسطين تصدر خطابا مفتوحا

في مؤتمر تشاوري دولي بشأن السلام في 20 حزيران / يونيو، أصدر الائتلاف الوطني للمنظمات المسيحية في فلسطين خطابا مفتوحا إلى مجلس الكنائس العالمي والحركة المسكونية "لا توجد عدالة في أرضنا حتى الآن ".

Sabbah: “The only remaining hope is in the churches’ prophetic voice and action”

Sabbah: “The only remaining hope is in the churches’ prophetic voice and action”

Speaking in the Holy Land at a “Consultation on 50 Years of Occupation and the Ecumenical Response,” WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said the best way to mark the tragedy of 50 years of occupation is to listen carefully to those witnesses of hope who live under occupation and who experience its grave consequences in their daily lives.