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TOPSHOT-ISRAEL-HEALTH-VIRUS-EASTER View of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City.   (AFP or licensors)

Middle East Council of Churches stands with United Nations

Responding to an appeal by the UN Secretary General, the Middle East Council of Churches says that in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it stands by the United Nations through prayer and action, for the sake of human dignity and global peace.

By Vatican News

The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) has welcomed “with deep gratitude” the invitation of the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to religious leaders and world authorities to join forces against the Covid-19 emergency, especially during the Easter holidays and Ramadan. The invitation is contained in a message sent on 11 April, the Vigil of Easter, and follows Guterres’ call for a global ceasefire to give all the populations involved in conflict zones the chance to confront the contagion and survive its consequences.

Building bridges of solidarity

In a letter of reply sent on Tuesday, the Secretary General of the MECC, Doctor Souraya Bechealany, says that the message has had a “positive impact”.

“In these challenging moments, building bridges of solidarity and developing mechanisms of cooperation for the protection of human beings and their dignity is an inevitable goal we are seeking to achieve hand in hand with UN bodies and agencies, through programs and projects, within available resources,” Dr Bechealany writes. She emphasizes the need for a “an unconventional conscience awakening along with a moral approach to public policy for consolidation of peace, social justice and sustainable development”.

These objectives can be achieved, she continues, by recognizing “the right to difference and by a noble pursuit of a rational dialogue on the basis that human beings who were created in God’s image have responsibilities towards their brothers in humanity but also towards the components of this beautiful cosmos”.

Shared common values

After recalling that the MECC has always shared common values with the United Nations, in particular those of peace building and the protection of human rights, Dr Bechealany thanks the United Nations for its action “in terms of health, relief and development”, and especially for its work in favour of “the poorest societies and in conflict areas”.

She expresses a hope for “a revitalization” of efforts to prevent wars and promote dialogue for ending them.

“MECC is standing by your side and the United Nations through prayer and action”, Dr Bechealany says in conclusion, “hoping to consolidate our cooperation for the sake of human dignity and global peace”.

A fellowship of Churches

The Middle East Council of Churches “is a fellowship of Churches which believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Redeemer” working together “to fulfil their common mission and realise their desired unity for the glory of the one God”. It includes most of the Christian churches and communities active in the Middle East.

16 April 2020, 14:02