Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - The Executive Committee of the Middle East Council of Churches has appointed Professor Souraya Bechealany as Acting Secretary General of the ecumenical body. Souraya Bechealany takes the place of Fr. Michel Jalkh, who was appointed Rector of Antonine University. The choice, approved unanimously, was announced at the end of the meeting of the Executive Committee hosted in Lebanon by Antonine University, in the district of Baabda - in the southern part of Beirut -, on January 25 and 26. The meeting was chaired by Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Mar Ignatius Aphrem II and Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, Yohanna X. The final statement of the meeting, referring to the conflicts and emergencies addressed, concerning Middle Eastern Christian communities in recent years, reaffirms among other things "the need to preserve the historical identity of Jerusalem as a city open to all believers of the monotheistic religions and the refusal of its Judaization".
Professor Souraya Bechealany teaches theology at Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth Université.
The Middle East Council of Churches, MECC, founded in 1974 in Nicosia and currently based in Beirut, aims to facilitate the convergence of Middle Eastern Christian communities on issues of common interest and encourage the overcoming of contrasts. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 29/1/2018)