Participants in an international conference on “The Holy Scripture in a Changing World,” held in Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenia from 27 September-1 October released a communiqué describing their experience and insights.
The conference drew 40 theologians, representatives of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Churches and United Bible Societies from around the world. Also invited to the conference were special observers from the World Council of Churches, Middle East Council of Churches, and guests of the Bible Society of Armenia.
Conference participants received and signed a "Memorandum of Understanding and Collaboration between the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the United Bible Societies".
The communiqué describes this historic gathering, hosted by the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Memorandum of Understanding, in its preamble, describes the gathering as "the result of the process of consultation between the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the United Bible Societies in view of a mutual commitment to continuing relations and collaboration on all aspects of activity related to the Holy Scripture”.
The communiqué describes how participants of the conference heard presentations and engaged in discussions. “The particular contexts of Christians in the Middle East, served as strong reminders of the power and resilience brought about as a result of our Christian faith, as well as the cost still paid by many to remain faithful, and the urgency for us all to stand alongside them in their struggles,” reads the communique. “Conference participants reiterated the central role of Holy Scripture, calling all Christians to prayer and solidarity with those who are persecuted and have their God-given right to freedom of religion or belief violated, whoever and wherever they may be. The participants also prayed for God's peace in the world, and an end to injustice, conflict, violence and war.”