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WCC NEWS: Migration: Middle East visit & global networkmeeting in Beirut

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  • Rev Fr John Brian
    World Council of Churches - News Release Contact: +41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363 media@wcc-coe.org For immediate release - 09/04/2008 01:50:04 PM THE IMPACT
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 9, 2008
      World Council of Churches - News Release
      Contact: +41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363 media@... For immediate
      release - 09/04/2008 01:50:04 PM


      Testimonies by young Christians from the Middle East on why many of them
      leave the region in search of a brighter future will inform the Public
      Hearing on Migration and the Changing Ecclesial Landscape to be held in
      Beirut, from 15 to 16 April. An ecumenical delegation headed by World
      Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia will attend
      the hearing at the outset of a seven-day visit to the region focusing on
      migration as a global phenomenon.

      Researchers at Middle Eastern universities, politicians and diplomats, along
      with top level representatives of ecumenical agencies will bring additional
      input to the hearing, which is open to the public. The hearing will focus on
      the causes and implications of migration, multiculturalism and diversity,
      within the context of the Middle East peace process.

      The public hearing 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 in different parts of the world. The meeting will be an opportunity
      for discussion on the churches' response to challenges posed by migration
      and the need to find ways to live together in diverse societies.

      On 17-18 April, the delegation led by the WCC general secretary [see
      participants list below]will continue to the United Arab Emirates to engage
      in a dialogue with representatives of various churches present in the Gulf

      During a 19 to 22 April official visit to the churches in Syria, the
      delegation will take part in celebrations around the Orthodox Palm Sunday
      and Holy Week, and learn how the churches in this country keep alive their
      traditions, even as their presence is challenged by the emigration of many
      young Christians. It will also hear from the local churches about their work
      with Iraqi refugees and their long experience in dialogue and living
      together with their Muslim neighbours.

      Both the public hearing and the GEM meeting will take place at the Armenian
      Catholicosate of Cilicia and be hosted by the Middle East Council of
      Churches, which is also co-organizing the WCC delegation's visit to Syria
      and the Gulf and whose general secretary, Mr Guirgis Saleh, will accompany
      the delegation.

      Members of the WCC delegation to the Middle East:
      . Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, WCC general secretary . Bishop Samuel Azariah, WCC
      executive committee member; Church of Pakistan . Dr Prawate Khid-Arn,
      Christian Conference of Asia, general secretary . Ms Doris Peschke,
      Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe, general secretary

      Media contact in the Middle East:
      Middle East Council of Churches +961-1-353938; +961-1-344896;

      More information on the Global Ecumenical Network on Migration:


      Middle East Council of Churches:

      WCC member churches in Lebanon:

      WCC member churches in Syria:

      Additional information:Juan Michel,+41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507

      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 Samuel Kobia, from the Methodist Church
      in Kenya. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
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