Fiona attended the event in Parliament, hosted by the Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, where Embrace the Middle East CEO, Tim Livesey, challenged MPs and Church leaders to celebrate the presence and witness of Christians in the Middle East. He also spoke about the work of Embrace in the region to strengthen and encourage Christians and help them challenge injustice. Tim Livesey said:
“We must be clear about the challenges but never paint people as victims. Every day at Embrace we are moved by what we receive from the Middle East faithful Christians. Their commitment, their resilience is incredible. We can give so much to each other.”
The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, also spoke about her recent visit with Embrace to the Christian community in Egypt. She said:
“Christians are really and truly involved in the transformation of individuals and communities and my overall impression was really how much the Christians are being a reconciling presence and a blessing often to those who are not seen as significant.”
The Bishop of Gloucester recollected her time with Embrace’s Christian partners, meeting with the Anglican Bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa Mouneer Anis who told her that:
“We believe in building bridges within our society, in different faith communities and Christian denominations. Our ultimate aim is to be peacemakers as we are doing what Christians are there to do.”
The event was attended by special guest and Embrace Patron His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, along with church representatives and MPs across all parties. Together they were able to celebrated the presence of Christians in the Middle East, and highlighted how significantly they contribute to the fabric of their society in the face of so many social, political, economic and cultural pressures.