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Middle East Council of Churches (MECC)


In their own words“To deepen the spiritual fellowship among the churches of the Middle East, and to unite them in word and deed as they strive to achieve the unity of the churches and bear a living evangelical witness to spread the gospel of salvation and reconciliation through the Lord Jesus Christ, love, peace and justice throughout the region and among the people inhabiting it.”



  • Consists of four ecclesiastical denominations: Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Evangelical, and Catholic.
  • Member of the Act Alliance, which promotes demonizing rhetoric against Israel; international boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) campaigns; as well as the Kairos Palestine document, which denies Jewish historical connections to Israel.
  • MECC’s local division is the Department of Service to the Palestine Refugees (DSPR). The DSPR divides further, with the Near Eastern Council of Churches International Christian Committee (NECC-ICC) dispensing aid to Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the Near East Council of Churches Committee for Refugee Work (NECCCRW) focusing on Gaza.
    • The DSPR claims to be committed “to work with Palestinian refugee communities” through “direct support, awareness-raising, capacity building, and advocacy…” including the strategic objective to “mobilize and empower Palestinian and other relevant communities to seek just and equal social and economic rights for Palestinians.”

Political Advocacy

  • NECC is a signatory to the 2005 “Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS” against Israel, which seeks to end the “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” and promotes the right of “Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties.” These goals undermine the fundamental right of the Jewish people to self-determination.
  • In June 2017, was a signatory to an “Open Letter” from the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine to the World Council of Churches that accuses Israel of “Discrimination and inequality, military occupation and systematic oppression.” The letter calls upon the WCC to “recognize Israel as an apartheid state,” and “unequivocally condemn the Balfour declaration as unjust, and that you demand from the UK that it asks forgiveness from the Palestinian people and compensates for the losses.” The letter also defends “our right and duty to resist the occupation creatively and nonviolently,” through “economic measures that pressure Israel to stop the occupation…in response to Israel’s war on BDS. We ask that you intensity those measures.”
  • In May 2013 released a “Statement on Christian presence and witness in the Middle East” together with the World Council of Churches (WCC),  in which the two organizations present a false and distorted narrative of Israeli aggression, alleging that “The persistence, after sixty-five years, of continuing dispossession of Palestinian people—Christian and Muslim alike—from their land by Israeli occupation, continuing settlement of land inside the 1967 borders by a nation empowered by overwhelming military strength and external alliances and influence, is central to the turmoil in the region.”
  • Together with the WCC, the MECC co-founded the Jerusalem Interchurch Centre (JIC), which claims to “bring the voice and the concerns of Palestinian Christians to the wide ecumenical family and to the world.” Together with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine Israel (EAPPI), the JIC arranges highly biased and politicized international ecumenical visits to join Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAPPI volunteers) for “short gatherings and solidarity actions,” including “observing checkpoints” and “gate watches at the wall.” The Israeli perspective is entirely omitted.
  • In a July 2014 update on the Gaza war, DSPR refers to Israel as a “war machine” and alleges that “the Israelis have gone crazy as they are incessantly bombing and shelling.”
  • In a 2014 interview, Executive Secretary of DSPR Bernard Sabella stated: “‘We must defeat Hamas’. What does that mean? Do you want to destroy and raze Gaza to the ground? Is this a path that will lead to peace?… You say that Hamas is the problem. That is not true.”
  • NECC’s 2013 annual report places primary blame for Gaza’s deterioration on “Israel’s blockade” and the implementation of “collective punishment,” without mention of Palestinian terror or internal Palestinian instability.
  • NECC is a member of the “Ecumenical Water Network, ” which uses allegations regarding water rights and availability as part of larger campaign to delegitimize Israel. In 2012, Ramzi Zananiri, head of the NECC, called for an international ecumenical fact-finding mission on environmental problems in Gaza and how they are linked to the occupation.
Donor2013 Amount
EED (Germany)378,010
Church of Sweden377,762
Norwegian Church Aid (Norway)362,568
NCCA/ Act for Peace271,665
Embrace the Middle East245,328
Church World Service USA99,970
United Church of the Netherlands- Kerk in Actie97,220
Bread for the World (Germany)83,385
ICCO (Netherlands)65,030
Common Global Ministries Board of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church49,955
World Vision International44,473
General Board of Global Ministries39,934
CCFD- Terre Solidaire (France)33,900
Christian World Service New Zealand31,230
United Church of Canada29,703
Finn Church Aid27,353
Church of Scotland14,149
United Church of Canada KAIROS13,255
Presbyterian Church USA4,965
Presbyterian Church in Canada4,812
German Speaking Evangelical Church- Beirut2,977

NECC funding through DSPR

ACT Alliance$100,000 (2013)
Act for Peace$267,319 (2013)
$4,345 [pledge receivable] (2013)
Norwegian Church Aid$332,566 (2013)
Church of Sweden$133,350 (2013)
The Church of Scotland$9,589 (2012)
Christian Aid$52,779 (2012)
United Church of Canada$31,016 (2012)
Presbyterian Church of Canada$39,640 (2012)

Funding via NECC

EED (Germany)$378,010 (2013)
Amos Trust$15,849 (2012)
Emergency Humanitarian Dan Church Aid (DCA)$120,560 (2011-2012)

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