World churches group's Pillay meets heads of churches in Lebanon

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World churches group's Pillay meets heads of churches in Lebanon

Rev. Jerry Pillay's visit to Lebanon from March 19-22 marked the 50th jubilee of the Middle East Council of Churches.

During his visit, Pillay met with all WCC member churches from Lebanon and Syria, with the council saying his visit was to strengthen the bonds of unity and cooperation.

Just over two-thirds of Lebanon's 5.3 million population are Muslims, but Christians, with Maronite Catholics the largest group, make up nearly one-third.

The political system in the country gives Christians a role Lebanese governance..

Besides visiting the WCC members in the region, the WCC said Pillay sought to express appreciation for the Middle East Council of Churches' dedication to promoting unity among its member churches and ecumenical organizations.

During his visit, Pillay, a Presbyterian from South Africa, met, prayed, and accompanied the Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Cilicia), Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, and Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East.

His visit was with the four families of churches present in the Middle East Council of Churches: Oriental, Orthodox, Evangelical, and Catholic.

Pillay began his visit to Lebanon on March 20 March and had a private meeting with Aram I, Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Holy See of Cilicia.

The WCC head and Aram discussed ecumenical issues in addition to the most prominent challenges surrounding the ecumenical work.

They also stressed the importance of strengthening ecumenical relations between churches and the necessity of praying and working together for peace and preserving human dignity in the Middle East and the world.

Aram I is also president of the World Council of Churches for the Oriental Orthodox family and honorary president of the Middle East Council of Churches.

Pillay also had a meeting with Rev. Joseph Kassab, president of the Supreme Council of Evangelical Community in Syria and Lebanon, general secretary of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, and member of the executive committee of the Middle East Council of Churches.

The general secretary met with Raphael Bedros XXI Minassian, Patriarch Catholicos of the Armenian Catholic Church of Cilicia.

Pillay visited Saint Paul Convent in Harissa, Lebanon, and the Congregation of the Missionaries of Saint Paul, Melkite Greek Catholic Church.

After the meeting, Pillay prayed in the Catholic Church as well as in the building of the Armenian Genocide Martyrs.

Source: https://www.ecumenicalnews.com/