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05/31/2022 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – The General Assembly of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) met in Egypt for the first time for its 12th meeting. Patriarchs, bishops and other church leaders sought the betterment of their congregations and assistance to the needy and vulnerable.  The assembly also expressed “sadness at the massive emigration of young people which is weakening Middle Eastern societies and drastically reducing the number of many local Christian communities.”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi commented, “Christian brothers and sisters, in all Arab countries, are an integral part of the fabric of all Arab society” and that Egypt has “a strategy of eliminating discrimination…while spreading a culture of diversity and freedom of belief.” He also said that Egypt “combats fanaticism and extremism.”

As a result of the general assembly meeting, MECC renewed its commitment to support Christians in Jerusalem, respecting freedom of belief and the preservation of religious sites. MECC includes those of Catholic, Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox and Evangelical denominations.

Despite the fact that the sessions were held in Egypt, the reality for Egyptian Christians is much harsher. In a one-month time span during the Lenten season, at least four violent incidents and two kidnappings occurred against Egypt’s Christian population. Christian persecution in Egypt often occurs at the community level when radicals lash out against religious minority neighbors.

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