Deepening relationships in the Middle East

STORIES
First published on: 12th May 2022

USPG’s connection with the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East continues to grow and flourish.

Rev’d Davidson Solanki, our team member responsible for the region, recently attended a provincial conference in Jordan to express solidarity with partners there. Davidson says, ‘The conference was my first time meeting our partners in the Middle East in person. It was an important step in showing how committed USPG is to the Church in this part of the world.’

USPG actively decided to increase its engagement with the Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East in 2020. However, the Covid pandemic prevented any face-to-face meetings or visits taking place. As churches start to emerge from the shadow of the pandemic, Davidson hopes that USPG’s engagement with the region will grow further. ‘The province would like to engage with USPG in working on the theme of youth development. This will be the a unique programmatic engagement involving USPG in the region, which is very exciting for the agency.’

Clergy gathering on top of Mount Nebo (Credit: Richard Sewell)

The Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East is also engaging with other provinces across the Anglican Communion. Alongside the Church of Bangladesh and the Churches of North and South India, the province will be taking part in an upcoming conversation around human trafficking facilitated by USPG.

‘Despite the challenging context of being a Christian presence in the Middle East, the Church is at the forefront of sharing God’s love with people who are in need and suffering. The Middle East is the cradle of Christianity and the province embodies that with their remarkable hospitality towards others’, Davidson adds.

A few personal highlights of the trip included a visit to Al-Maghtas, the site where Jesus was baptised, and taking the Eucharist on top of Mount Nebo, where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land before his death.