• 27/05/2021

Yesterday, Wednesday, the Intercultural Dialogue Forum at the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services organized the preparatory meeting for the Egyptian-American dialogue. This activity comes within the framework of completing the international efforts undertaken by the Organization and the Forum for Intercultural Dialogue to support the Egyptian role and build a common understanding of the regional and international issues that have an impact on the local, regional and global reality.
The meeting was opened by Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki, head of the Protestant Churches in Egypt and head of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services, with the participation of several church leaders in the United States of America:
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ, and Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, Executive Director, Churches for Middle East Peace Sara Lisherness, Interim Director, Presbyterian World Mission, Presbyterian Church (USA) Jennifer Cate, Executive Director, Hands Along the Nile Development Services, Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla, Executive Director, Service & Justice, ELCA, Dr. Tony Kireopoulos, Associate General Secretary, Interreligious Relations and Faith & Order, NCC Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, Associate General Minister for Wider Church Ministries and Operations, UCC; and Co-Executive, Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ.
Catherine Gordon, Representative for International Issues, Office of Public Witness, Presbyterian Church (USA), Ms. Kathryn Lohre, Executive for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations & Theological Discernment, ELCA Rev. Dr. Julia Brown Karimu, President, Division of Overseas Ministries, Disciples; and Co-Executive, Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ
Luciano Kovacs, Area Coordinator Middle East Europe, Presbyterian World Mission, Presbyterian Church (USA), Dr. Peter Makari, Executive, Middle East and Europe, Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ, Rev. Said Ailabouni, Area Desk Director, MENA (outgoing), ELCA Rev. Gabi Aelabouni, Area Desk Director, MENA (incoming), ELCA
Kyle Cristofalo, Senior Director of Advocacy and Government Relations and Special Advisor to the Executive Director, Churches for Middle East Peace, Rev. Michael Neuroth, Policy Advocate for International Issues, United Church of Christ and Samira Louka, Senior Director of Dialogue at the Coptic Evangelical Organization.
From his side, Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki presented the current situation of the great Egyptian role in supporting stability in Egypt, and in the Arab region. The dialogue also touched the issue of the Renaissance Dam and its impact on Egypt and Egyptians' lives, and the Egyptian role in calming the conflict and reconstructing Gaza
In his speech, the President of the Protestant Church emphasized the development of the Islamic-Christian relations compared to the conflicts and disputes that are taking place in other regions in the Middle East.
The dialogue also touched the challenges facing the United States, which include the presidential elections and the problems that the country has faced since that time, such as racial crises, the Corona epidemic, the death of more than 600,000 American citizens, the impacted economy, and the problem of the increasing influx of refugees.
At the end of the Forum, the attendees agreed to organize and hold the next meeting in the United States in March 2022, and the following Forum will be in February 2023.