Migration "is a human concern, not a Muslim or a Christian one, and therefore Christians and Muslims must act on it together", declared representatives of Lebanon's six most numerous faith communities at a Public Hearing on Migration and the Changing Ecclesial Landscape which officially opened in Beirut on 14 April 2008.
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 is being 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).
More information on the Global Ecumenical Network on Migration: http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=3414