Bethlehem, March 2019

The Middle East regional webinar was part of an ongoing series on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in the context of the COVID-19.

Bishop Ibrahim Azar, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, who moderated the discussion, opened with a prayer that our thoughts and actions may be rooted and grounded in Gods love for us.

He also reflected briefly on vaccination in his region. Vaccination is also in our region now well-taken by the people but many of them have many questions about their fears,” he said. Many still are worried what will happen after five years or seven years.”

Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, WCC deputy general secretary, said that in our common Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, we are part of one body in Christ. We are bound together as one humanity on our one planet,” she said. The suffering that each person feels in one region or one family impacts all. Let us build up our knowledge and wisdom with compassion and empathy as one body in Christ to overcome this crisis.”

Prof. Dr Michel Abs, general secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches, reflected on how people see the pandemic. It is not something which is inflicted by God on the human race,” he said. Theyre doing things against the will of God, against the teaching of the Gospel, and against the teaching of human values. The human beings went too far and pushed the luck too much in making nature bear much more than it can take.”

The 90-minute webinar also explored the economic and socio-political context, medical Infrastructure, just access to testing and vaccines, refugees, youth, and the role of religious institutions. 

WCC pilgrimage consultations are exploring impact of COVID-19 in eight different regions - WCC news release 11 May 2021

In Asia, COVID-19 “is a spotlight exposing fault lines” of injustice - WCC news release 9 June 2021

In Pacific pilgrimage, justice seekers pray: “heal our world” - WCC news release 8 June 2021

Latin American countries wrestle with injustices exacerbated by rising wave of COVID-19 - WCC news release 1 June 2021

A tangle of COVID-19 challenges for European churches and society: how do we begin to unknot them? - WCC news release 7 May 2021

In Africa, “resilience of God’s people amidst adversity continues to amaze us” - WCC news release 27 April 2021