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The Document “We Choose Abundant Life”

Creating a Culture of Encounter


  • Souraya Bechealany Saint Joseph University, Beirut



Christianity, Middle East, interreligious dialogue, ecumenical dialogue, contextual theology, culture of encounter, witness, synodality


Conclusion: “Choose Abundant Life” urges Christians to be a prophetic voice in the Middle East and commits them to deep dialogue with their Churches; with the faithful from other religions; with secular thinkers in civil society; encouraging them to be biased towards the causes of freedom, justice, human rights, the right to self?determination, democracy, and the regular peaceful transfer of power in all the countries of the region (n.97). “You will know the truth and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32).
To this end, this document encourages Christians to choose “Abundant Life”. This appeal explicitly expressed in the title: “We Choose Abundant Life: towards renewed theological, social and political choices” recalls Moses’ appeal in Deuteronomy 30:19b. In the document’s final paragraph (100) the authors conclude: “Our Christian presence must be founded on service (diakonia) to every human being, dedicated love, and genuine forgiveness, in obedience to the will of God. Our aim must be a more just and humane society in which the kingdom of God may be fulfilled, so that human beings may receive life as God has desired it for them, according to the words of Christ in the Gospel of John: “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

Author Biography

Souraya Bechealany, Saint Joseph University, Beirut

Souraya Bechealany, Lebanon, teaches religious studies at Saint Joseph University, Beirut. She was the first woman to become secretary-general of the Middle East Council of Churches.

For more articles by Souraya Bechealany please see IxTheo.


This article was delivered at a conference at the 50th Anniversary of the Institute of Missiology – Missio Aachen (17?19 November 2022). It is coedited by “Missio”, “Deutscher Verein vom Heiligen Lande” (DVHL), “Embrace the Middle East”, and the Magazine “Proche?Orient Chrétien”.

Cf. the document in

As a co?author, I allow myself to use a lot of relevant quotes from this document.