Middle East Conversations 2020

The Middle East Consultation is an annual event that has gathered participants from around the MENA region and the world since 2004 to explore issues of faith by presenting insightful analysis and facilitating meaningful discussions. Due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the new global realities of distancing and travel restrictions, this year’s consultation (originally scheduled for June 15-19) has been reimagined and a new type of MEC 2020 has taken shape: Middle East Conversations.
Purpose of MEC 2020: To lend Middle-Eastern voices to the global discourse on urgent matters of faith and witness.

In a moment of global pandemic fraught with health crises, economic fallout, and widespread disruption, ABTS seeks to engage the global Church with a biblical worldview on topics of weight and relevance. Middle East Conversations 2020 brought together MENA and global perspectives to illuminate our understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing us at a time like this, encouraging thoughtful analysis and constructive debate.

MEC 2020 Webinars:

December 10:
The Religious Other: Toward a Biblical Understanding of Islam, the Qur’an and Muhammad

Contributors included:
Conversation Host: Martin Accad
Guest: Ida Glaser
Guest: Colin Chapman
Guest: Daniel Brown
October 22:
Lebanon’s Year of Meltdown: Faith Refined

Contributors included:
Conversation Host: Martin Accad, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary
Guest: Eugene Sensenig, Notre Dame University in Lebanon
Guest: Nadia Khouri Accad, Tahaddi, Beirut
Guest: Wissam al-Saliby, World Evangelical Alliance
September 17:
Rethinking Missions During Pandemic: Considerations from the Middle East

Contributors included:
Keynote Presentation: Wes Watkins, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary
Regional Respondent: Kamel Shalhoub, The Navigators
Global Respondent: Pam Arlund, All Nations International
The webinar will be moderated by Elie Haddad.
August 20:
No Space or New Space? Navigating Exceptional Times as the New Normal for the Local Church

Contributors included:
Keynote Presentation: Nabil Habiby, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary
Case Study: Ara Badalian, Baghdad Baptist Church
Case Study: Bassem Melki, Church of God-Beirut
Global Respondent: Shadi Fatehi, Pars Theological Center, London
Moderator: Emad Botros, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary
July 16:
COVID-19 and Theological Education in the Middle Eastern Context: Between Mounting Challenges and Emerging Opportunities.

Contributors included:
Elie Haddad, President of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, Lebanon
Hani Hanna, Academic Dean at the Evangelical Theological Seminary, Cairo
Stephanie Black, Associate Director for Orientation and Training of Theologians Without Borders
Martin Accad, Chief Academic Officer at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, Lebanon
June 18:
A Dynamic Pause: Reflections on Simplicity, Purpose, and Transformation in this Time of Pandemic.

Contributors included:
Martin Accad, Chief Academic Officer and Director of the Institute of Middle East Studies at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, Lebanon
Rima Nasrallah, Professor of Practical Theology at the Near East School of Theology, Beirut
Gary Nelson, President of Tyndale University, Toronto