Egypt visit to highlight WCC Middle East focus

By agency reporter
June 12, 2008
Dr Samuel Kobia

The necessity of peace in the Middle East will be highlighted during a visit to Egypt next week by the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev Dr Samuel Kobia.

During encounters with leaders of WCC member churches as well as other religious and secular figures in Cairo and Alexandria, a WCC delegation led by Kobia will learn about the situation of the churches in Egypt and discuss WCC activities in the Middle East.

Impetus for the talks comes from the Amman Call, a document about how churches must commit to working for peace in the Middle East.

The document was signed by over 130 representatives of churches and Christian organizations from six continents in June 2007.

The document includes a commitment of the churches to work for peace in the region and to observe three guiding principles: the ethical and theological imperative for a just peace; the ecumenical imperative for unity in action; and the Gospel imperative for costly solidarity.

The visit will be an occasion to promote interreligious dialogue, especially among institutions of religious education. The delegation will meet Muslim leaders and pay a visit to the Al-Azhar University in Cairo.

The promotion of a just peace in the Middle East has been a focus of WCC work during the last several years.

The visit to Egypt comes 7 days after a worldwide "week of action" for peace in Israel and Palestine initiated by the WCC.

Previous visits had brought the WCC general secretary to Lebanon, Syria and the Gulf region as well as to Israel and Palestine since 2007.

The visit takes place from 16 to 21 June.

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