Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches

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The Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches (FMEEC) is an ecumenical organisation comprising Protestant churches in the Middle East with representatives from Sudan to Iran. Established in 1974, the current president of the FMEEC is the Rev Dr Andrea Zaki.[1]

History[edit]

Early cooperation[edit]

Protestant churches and missions were one of the early proponents of ecumenism and inter-church cooperation in the Middle East.[2] In 1911, an inter-Protestant effort was initiated in Beirut leading to the establishment of the United Missionary Council in 1920. A parallel development occurred in 1924 when a Conference for Workers in Moslem Lands[3] was convened in Jerusalem leading to the eventual formation of the Western Asia and North Africa Council in Helwan in 1927.[2] Other early cooperative efforts that stemmed from these early initiatives were the Missionary Conference of Syria and Palestine and the Missionary Conference of all Egypt.[4] These various groups eventually united as the Near East Christian Council in 1927.[3][4]

Near East Council of Churches[edit]

As missionary influences gradually reduced, the Near East Christian Council took on a more indigenous flavour. As amicable contact and informal cooperation between the Protestants and the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox continued to develop, the Syrian Orthodox Church established formal cooperation with the Protestants in 1962 and enlarged council became known as the Near East Council of Churches.[5]

Middle East Council of Churches[edit]

In 1964, dialogue began to form a larger ecumenical organisation in the Middle East incorporating the various Church traditions present in the region. This meant that the Protestants had to intentionally take a smaller administrative role in coordinating inter-church work. The result of this dialogue was the establishment of the Middle East Council of Churches in 1974.[6] A Protestant specific fellowship was also retained and became formally known as the Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches in the same year.[4]

Current developments[edit]

Efforts continue to be made to establish full fellowship and communion between the member churches of the FMECC. In 1997, the FMECC tabled a Proposal for the Unity of the Evangelical Churches in the Middle East but failed to achieve agreement between the member churches.[4] A renewed effort was made in 2005 focusing on member churches of the Reformed and Lutheran traditions and in 2006 an agreement was reached in Amman for full communion was reached with the signing of the Amman Declaration of Lutheran and Reformed Churches in the Middle East and North Africa. The declaration established the mutual recognition of baptism, eucharist, ministry and ordination between the signatory churches.[2]

Member churches[edit]

The FMEEC consists of the following Protestant denominations:[4][7]

North Africa
  • Trans-national
Levant & Mashriq
  • Trans-national
Arabian Peninsula & Iran
  • Trans-national

Affiliations[edit]

The FMEEC is a regional member of the World Council of Churches.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Final Communiqué of the 6th General Assembly of the FMEEC" (Communiqué). Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c The Amman Declaration, 2006 Agreement of Full Mutual Recognition of Lutheran and Reformed Churches In the Middle East and North Africa. Amman: Fellowship of Middle Eastern Evangelical Churches. 
  3. ^ a b "Section IX: Middle East Missions". Church Missionary Society Archives. Adam Matthew Publications. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Federation of Middle East Evangelical Churches". Member Churches. World Council of Churches. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "History and Character". Middle East Council of Churches. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Middle East Council of Churches". Member Churches. World Council of Churches. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches". Regional Partners. Global Ministries. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Member Churches in the Middle East". Member Churches. World Council of Churches. Retrieved 10 December 2011.