WSCF Middle East: Youth & Prayers
Middle East the cradle of the three religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the home of more than three hundred million people and a meeting point of all religions, nowadays its suffering and is in an unstable status. Despite the war and the continuous instability, people forget and rise again, specially the youth who come together and fight against everyday discriminations, poverty and war… WSCF Middle East is one of those organizations who join together all the Christian youth movements from Egypt, Iraq Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Sudan and Syria under one roof to become one and embrace God as one and live the ecumenical life.
During the past two years, WSCF Middle East has organized lectures, conferences, social events and gatherings both regional and local. In the summer of 2012 WSCF Middle East organized a yearly youth gathering “Aya Napa 27-th“which was titled “The Youth and Freedom in Church and in Society”, held in Broumana, Lebanon. Participants from all the regional countries participated in the event, and discussions evolved around the latest middle eastern problems and the Arab spring. After the Aya Napa meeting, the Regional Meeting was held in the same location and all the regional movements’ presidents or representatives participated to discuss and to resolve the new problems facing the youth and Christianity as a whole. In January 2013 WSCF Middle East organized a one day event dedicated for the prayer week’s “Pray together for the Unity of the Churches” which was held at the Saydet El-Bir Church Sin El Fil, Lebanon. Many Christian youth movements from Lebanon and even Syria and Iraq participated in the event. During the event youth from different dominions understood the differences and shared their experiences, it was a day of joy for Jesus Christ as the Christian Church is one and its followers are brothers and sisters. During the same year many other events were organized dedicated to the youth of each country, examples include the gathering for the Palestinian youth, the gathering for the Iraqi youth and the gathering for the Syrian youth, where in each event the youth elaborated the church’s role during the horrible events that their countries were enduring, either being the migration of the Christians to the west, that is the mass evacuation of Christians and every day instability. Every year after the Easters of both the Catholic and Orthodox churches, WSCF Middle East organizes an event dedicated to the soul of the Christian spirit, to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, titled “Let’s be Enlightened and be Joyful for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ” which was held this year in Shrine of Sayedat el Mantara in the southern city of Lebanon, Maghdoushe. The event was full of youth coming from different dominions and different cities, it incorporated games and bible studies all related to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The participants enjoyed the company of one another and were revived with the unity of the church, although for one day. One of the most crucial conferences organized by the WSCF Middle East is the Summer University which is the building block for all new members to attend and to be educated about what is ecumenism, how can it be achieved,… and it is followed by another crucial conference “Women’s Conference”. This year the event was organized in Broumana, Lebanon. More than fifty members of each movement from all Middle Eastern countries participated in the event. During which many new techniques were used in the workshops and in the way the lectures were held. All the participants worked together in groups, prayed together and also prepared a presentation of their work in front of WSCF non-participant members during a diner gathering.
Ecumenism is not fulfilled just by gathering and listening to only Christians, but also recognizing the other religions and respecting them. That is why WSCF Middle East organizes on an annual basis “Muslim-Christian Dialogue”. This year the event will be held in the second half of November.
I pray to God to express my gratitude that this year was fruitful and inspiring to all of us in the Middle East despite the wars, the economical crisis and ongoing instability. I pray to God to give us strength and hope in order to endure and enjoy the Christ’s soul in our daily lives with our friends, neighbors and our brothers in humanity. I would also like to pray to God in the name of those who helped us during the years to organize our activities and for all the participants who were part of our events.