On Thursday, the 26th of August/8th of September 2016, the 11th General Assembly of the MECC approved the appointment of new officials to serve on behalf of each Family.

The proposals of the Orthodox Family, approved and ratified by the General Assembly, are as follows:

His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch is appointed President of the Orthodox Families, with Bishop Constantinos of Chrysoupolis and Dr Michel Abs as members of the Executive Committee at the MECC.

The Patriarchate of Alexandria is represented by His Beatitude Theodore, Patriarch and Pope of Alexandria as President of the Delegation of the Patriarchate of Alexandria at the MECC, with Metropolitans Nikolaos of Ermoupolis and Narcissus of Accra as members of the Executive Committee at the MECC.

Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem is appointed President of the Delegation of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, with Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina as member. Archbishop Philoumenos of Pella and the Director of the Patriarchate’s Office in Amman, Miss Wafa Goussous, are appointed members of the Executive Committee.

Archbishop Chrysostomos heads the Delegation of the Church of Cyprus, with Presbyter Ioannis Nicolaou as member and Michael Spyrou as Assistant General Secretary.

On the morning of the aforementioned day, the Moderator of the competent Committee read the message of the General Assembly, which was then commented upon, modified and approved. Along general lines, the message holds that the Middle East and specifically the Holy Land is the birthplace of Christianity and the site where the Church was founded to mark the beginning of its historical, salvaging course.

As the cradle of Christianity, it must be inhabited by Christians, aided by their respective States and protected by persecutions, still witnessed to this day. Residing their homelands, Christians can be useful to their countries, brave patriots, cultivating the dialogue for reconciliation and peace with their Muslim countrymen, serving as a bridge in the political dialogue between Israel and Palestine. Christians enjoy the special protection of the King of Jordan, the country that has undertaken to safeguard the religious status quo in Jerusalem – especially of the Church of Resurrection as a Christian site of veneration and Umar’s Mosque as a Muslim one.

Thanks are extended to the King of Jordan, along with wishes to Muslims for the Eid-Il-Adha feast.

The Message calls for an end to the plight of financial refugees, and for the humanitarian treatment of refugees; likewise, Turkey is called upon to remove the negative results of its invasion to Cyprus.

The elected Presidents of the MECC Families are: Metropolitan Mar Theophilos George Saliba for the Pre-Chalcedonian Family; Patriarch John of Antioch for the Orthodox Family; Right Rev. Dr Habib Badr for the Evangelical Family; and Mar Raphael Luis Sako for the Latin Family. Dr Michel Jalakh was reelected unanimously General Secretary.

Fr. Jalakh went on to thank the Assembly and asked for their prayers and support in the next four years, so that the MECC can fulfill its mission for peace, justice and protection of the Christian Communities in the Middle East.

The approved Message can be reached here: www.mecc.org and contains references on the genocides of the Armenians, the Chaldeans, Pontic Greeks and other peoples by Turkey in 1915, as well as on the abduction of Syrian Primates, with an appeal for their liberation. An appeal was also made for the resolution of the Cyprus problem and the unification of the island of Cyprus.

As a token of appreciation for their services, the four thus far Presidents of the MECC have been recognized as Honorary Presidents.

The General Assembly offered Patriarch Theophilos a fine icon of the Holy Cross. Smaller icons were offered to all members of the Assembly.

From the Secretariat-General