The Middle East and North Africa Evangelical Alliance (MENA-EA) held its third general assemblyin Ajloun, Jordan.
The 45 participating delegates represented nine national alliances, partner organizations, prospective members, and representatives of the World Evangelical Alliance accounting for more than 3.5 million evangelicals that live and worship in the Middle East and North Africa countries.
Bishop Dr Thomas Schirrmacher, Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), together with Dr Mario Li Hing, representing the International Council of the WEA - its highest governing body - and Dr Peirong Lin, Deputy Secretary General of the WEA, brought messages of encouragement and support to Evangelical Alliances from the MENA region. Schirrmacher praised the steadfastness of the representatives of evangelicals from Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Algiers and Arabic Speaking evangelicals from Europe and said that he has “a special love for the Middle East for the Muslim world for Arabic- speaking people.”
Schirrmacher said that evangelicals were the ones who tried to overcome the splits of the reformation era. “Our forefathers put Jesus and the gospel above the theology.”
The German evangelical leader used the family theme as he pleaded for unity among Christians in the region. “We must find unity among all Christians. We are a family and if we have some in-house fights, this can be solved together.”
Rev. Dr Jack Sara, the General Secretary of the MENA-EA, who facilitated the general assembly said that the representatives of Evangelicals in the Jordanian resort of Ajloun is the largest gathering of evangelical leaders in the MENA region. “We are excited about the growth of evangelicals in our region who have withstood pressures from traditional churches and governments and have also proved their independence and that they are both loyal to their evangelical faith and their national countries. “
Pastor David Rihani, Secretary General of the Jordan Evangelical Alliance and First Deputy Secretary General of the MENA-EA made the delegates feel at home with their warm hospitality. Rihani gave a presentation about Christian places in Jordan. “We would like to see more Christians and especially evangelicals in Jordan to see the many rich history of Christianity in our country.”
The three-day program held at the Ajloun Baptist Center included devotions and worship, country reports by MENA-EA members, a workshop on accountability in ministry, a panel on religious freedom advocacy, and prayer requests.
During the business meeting, delegates of National Alliances elected pastor Abdalla A from North Africa, as the Second Deputy Secretary General.
Several of the delegates represented regional ministries and organizations that are working across the region and are in partnership with the MENA-EA or with the national alliances.
The General Assembly ended with the Lord’s supper led by Rev. Dr George Shaker, the vice president of Egypt Evangelical Synod and at the end, a prayer was offered for the MENA-EA leadership team.