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date: 25 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Middle East is marked by a rich diversity of church traditions. This has historically given rise to divisions, and every search for Christian unity must find a delicate balance between unity and diversity. The Middle East Council of Churches, which includes almost all of the historical churches, is a privileged instrument in this ecumenical endeavour, through its main units on faith and unity, education and renewal, life and service, and its programme on interreligious dialogue. It has met with various difficulties over the years but has recently made a new start. Some bilateral pastoral agreements deserve to be highlighted. Ecumenical relations are also conditioned by political instability in the region, which differs from country to country. Christians in the region have a strong awareness of belonging together, facing the same challenges, and being called to work together for their future. An ecumenism of martyrdom has become part of life.

Keywords: diversity, unity, dialogue, Middle East Council of Churches, pastoral agreement, ecumenism of martyrdom, tradition, political instability

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