World Council of Churches -
Contact: + 41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363
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15 April 2008
Lebanon: Muslims and Christians tackle migration together
"Migration is a human concern, not a Muslim or a Christian one, and therefore Christians and Muslims must act on it together." Representatives of Lebanon's six most numerous faith communities shared this view as the Public Hearing on Migration and the Changing Ecclesial Landscape was officially opened in Beirut on April 14.
Representatives of the Druze, Shi'ite and Sunni Muslim communities joined their words of welcome to those from Metropolitans of the Maronite (Catholic) Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch as well as Catholicos Aram I, head of the Armenian Orthodox Church (See of Cilicia), who hosts the hearing.
Both Muslim and Christian leaders stressed that Lebanon with its diverse religions not merely coexisting but "living together under one roof" has a message for those countries who struggle with the diversity that accompanies immigration. They also warned: "Those who speak of a clash of civilizations are setting a trap for both Christians and Muslims - we must be vigilant."
The Public Hearing on Migration and the Changing Ecclesial Landscape currently taking place in Lebanon is the first in a series of hearings on the topic which are to take place over the next years in the different regions of the world. It will be followed by a 2-day meeting of the Global Ecumenical Network on Migration (GEM), which brings together regional ecumenical organizations, churches and Christian agencies working on the topic around the world.
Both the public hearing and the GEM meeting are co-organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC).
Speakers at the opening reception were:
, general secretary, MECC
, Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch; chairman MECC Commission on Faith and Unity
Sami-Abou El Mouna
, Druze community
, Maronite Church; president, MECC
Al Jaafari Al Sheikh
Ahmad Abdel Amir Kabalan
, Shi'ite community
, Sunni community
, general secretary, WCC
, Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia
, WCC representative to the United Nations
Media contact in Beirut:
Middle East Council of Churches +961-1-353938; +961-1-344896; +961-1-346899
More information on the Global Ecumenical Network on Migration:
Middle East Council of Churches:
WCC member churches in Lebanon:
Juan Michel,+41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363
The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.