Bogota, Colombia – In response to urgent appeals from the Supreme Council of the Evangelical Community in Syria and Lebanon and from the Middle East Council of Churches, Mennonite World Conference issued a call for “a shower of prayer, solidarity and blessing” to MWC member churches.
In a communication to “all the Evangelical and Protestant churches and organizations across the world,” the Supreme Council declared a state of emergency “to preserve what remains of the Christian and moderate non-Christian presence in the East, and to circumvent its complete demise.”
The Council also identified “the possibility of the “annihilation of Christian Presence in the Middle East” and expressed concern about the “human suffering and political difficulties” faced in these countries.
MWC also received a statement from the Middle East Council of Churches based in Lebanon calling on the international community “to take bold initiatives and to stand against this fierce attack on the passive Christians of Iraq who remain steadfast in the land of their fathers and forefathers where Christianity started.”
“We are moved to prayer,” wrote MWC leaders in response to the Supreme Council. “We do want to assure you of the prayers of MWC. We have distributed your urgent appeal to each of the 102 national churches in 57 countries that make up the membership of MWC.” MWC responded in a similar fashion to the Middle East Council of Churches.
Then in a letter to member churches, MWC General Secretary César García and Peace Commission Secretary Robert J. Suderman urged each of the churches to write their own letter directly to the Supreme Council and to the Middle East Council of Churches, “assuring them of your prayers and identifying particular actions that you are doing in response to their appeal.”
“We believe that such a ‘shower of prayer, solidarity and blessing’ will be highly appreciated by them,” wrote García and Suderman. “They will be strengthened just knowing that there are churches around the world praying for them and acting on their behalf.”
The letter to MWC member churches was issued on Sunday 21 September, the United Nations International Day of Peace, and the MWC Peace Sunday.