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 for Peace in Palestine and Israel

World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel

15 - 22 September 2019 Worldwide

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

Related News

Reflection explores humanity, equality in God’s creation

Reflection explores humanity, equality in God’s creation

As the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel commenced, Nora Carmi offered a morning reflection at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on 16 September. Carmi is a civil society worker on justice and peace issues who is from the Orthodox community.

World Week for Peace highlights humanity and equality

World Week for Peace highlights humanity and equality

Under the theme “Humanity and equality in God’s creation”, people of faith all over the world are encouraged to bear common witness by gathering in prayer and acts of support during the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel. This yearly manifestation of solidarity and hope takes place 15 – 22 September and as usual it includes the International Day of Peace on 21 September.

Dr Saïd Ailabouni: God is on the side of rejected, oppressed, occupied

Dr Saïd Ailabouni: God is on the side of rejected, oppressed, occupied

Born in Nazareth, Galilee, Rev. Dr Saïd Ailabouni moved to the US at the age of 19 to become a physician. But he was so angry at God that he went to study theology instead, becoming a Lutheran pastor. Now he is leading the Middle East & Europe desk of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Since leaving his hometown 50 years ago, he visits his Palestinian family regularly. As the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel approaches, Ailabouni agreed to share some of his lifetime observations with the Word Council of Churches.