On 6 September 2016,His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East spoke to the general assembly of the Middle East Council of Churches in Amman,Jordan.The MECC is,in turn,a member of the World Council of Churches.At the general assembly,Patriarch John was elected President of the Orthodox Churches which belong to the Council.There are others who serve as Presidents of the Oriental Orthodox;Catholics;and Evangelicals in the Council.For example,His Holiness Patriarch Aphrem II of the Syriac Orthodox Church is President of the Oriental Orthodox.Patriarch John spoke eloquently of their deeply troubled region and of the Middle East Council of Churches' role within it:
We are here to raise our voices against everything done against Christians-and against others,too-in every spot of the East.We are fully aware of what happened to them in Iraq.And we understand the situation in Syria.
We are here to make our cry reach far of our people in Aleppo,Mhardeh and others.What is going on will not make us neglect our land;but it will rather urge us to defend it.We are here to address the whole world in regard to the existence of Christians in the East.We say:we do not appeal to protection;we demand peace.*
The Council is a pattern of open minds through which Eastern Christianity confronts every endeavour to close minds with the protection and sustenance of the Church-civilised heritage of each of its components.We are called to activate the voice of the Council and strengthen it to be continuously the voice for Eastern Christianity at the present time.*
May the Lord bless this East and its countries and give it with the rest of the world a flow of His light and fill the hearts of the participants in this meeting with His abundant and divine mercy,Patriarch John prayed.