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

Related News

“Religion, Peace and Violence” is theme for Christian-Muslim meeting in Geneva

Mere days after terror attacks in Beirut and Paris, the theme of an interfaith meeting of Christians and Muslims at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on “Religion, Peace and Violence” was entirely appropriate, said participants.

WCC gravely concerned over violent confrontation in Israel and Palestine

Horrified by recent developments in Israel and Palestine, the Executive Committee of the WCC has expressed again “the WCC’s rejection of violence and injustice” and has reiterated “its frequent call for respect for human rights for all people of the region, regardless of their national, ethnic or religious identity”.

Common prayer in Geneva responds to acts of violence

Common prayer in Geneva responds to acts of violence

Commemorating the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 was to have been the principal focus of the service of Sunday morning prayer on 15 November in the cathedral church of Saint-Pierre at the summit of Geneva’s old town. Following terror attacks in Beirut and Paris killing and wounding hundreds of civilians over the preceding days, the prayers of the Protestant Church of Geneva and the WCC Executive Committee took on a new dimension.