The Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Christians (FMEEC) released their final communique after their symposium on Evangelical and Christian Presence in the Middle East in Beirut, Lebanon. The group explored ways in which they could remain faithful to their universal Reformation legacy while properly responding to the challenges they currently face in the various countries in which they live (Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Sudan, North Africa and the Gulf region).
Among other things, the communique calls for a Middle East that:
“enjoys peace based on justice, freedom and the respect and preservation of human rights. They called upon all their Muslim compatriots, but especially those authorities now in power, to work for the establishment of civic states in the region; states founded on a modernized understanding of democracy which is not based merely on numbers and vote counts, but rather on equality in the rights of all to equal citizenship under the just rule of law; states that offer equal opportunities for work and prosperity to all the inhabitants of the Middle East without discrimination. It is only in such a Middle East that all communities, evangelical and non-evangelical, but especially the youth amongst us, shall enjoy safety and wellbeing, and therefore shall no more live in frustration and fear, or be subjected to the temptation to emigrate.
A plea was put forth to all those concerned with the question of Christian presence and witness in the Middle East (be they regional or world governments, church leaders and congregations or partner organizations across the globe) to become more aware of the dangers currently besetting all Middle Eastern Christian minorities, but especially the evangelicals amongst them (who are a minority within a minority).
An invitation was issued to all our regional and international partners and friends, inviting them to conduct a serious investigation into the truth of what is in fact happening in the different countries of the Middle East; and which differ from one country to another. Having done so, it becomes incumbent on all to inform the international community of these facts and to respond accordingly. It is our hope that this response shall be inspired by the Biblical principles upon which the Evangelical Reformation was based centuries ago. To us this means to uphold justice and truth and repudiate the violence that now so sadly prevails in the Middle East region – violence that comes all sides and parties involved.
The communique also said the group held workshops and discussion about how to “reach a definitive strategy that contributes to rebuilding Middle Eastern Evangelical communities on the basis of a new and indigenous theology of public issues; a theology inspired by a unified Christian evangelical vision that calls for freedom and equality before the law in the context of a just understanding of citizenship for all ethnic, religious and national identities, and that contributes to the further development of human resources. In this regard, the participants emphasized that a final, just and fair solution to the Palestinian crisis is necessary for any future progress on all these fronts.”