9 • Partnerships and projects today

Partnerships and projects today

About thirty projects are supported each year by the Action Chrétienne en Orient. They are all part of partnerships built over the years and established on relationships of trust sustained by field visits and regular discussions.

International Partnership Conference of the Arab Synod for their solidarity actions in Syria

Most of the projects are naturally carried out within the framework of the ACO Fellowship where collaboration on an equal footing between the six partners makes it possible to finance together the main part of the actions carried out in Syria, Lebanon and Iran.

It is the Middle Eastern partners who submit the projects and implement them in the mission field.

Syrian and Lebanese pastors
Welcoming refugees from Lebanon

In a spirit of reciprocity, the Fellowship also supports a number of projects set in Europe and linked to the three Western partners. In France, for example, the Fellowship contributes to actions carried out by the Fédération de l’Entraide Protestante pour l’accueil de réfugiés (a Protestant Federation that supports refugees in France).

In addition to its commitment to the Fellowship, ACO France supports other projects, particularly in Egypt and Armenia.

Together with the missionary organization DM, ACO France finances and supports the pastoral work of the French-speaking Protestant parish of Cairo and Alexandria. Several projects are also carried out in collaboration with Egyptian Protestant churches and organizations. Egyptian Protestantism is indeed one of the largest and most dynamic in the region. Every year, with the “Service Protestant des Missions” (DEFAP), the ACO sends volunteers to Cairo for educational missions.

French speaking parish in Cairo
Synod of the Nile’s Egyptian Protestant Church
Reverend Michael Schlick in Alexandria

In Armenia, ACO France shares the humanitarian, social and cultural commitments of “Solidarité Protestante France-Armenie” and “Espoir pour l’Armenie”.

Christmas celebration for displaced children, due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 2020

ACO France also responds to emergency situations such as the Syrian conflict, the Covid-19 pandemic or the explosion at the port of Beirut in August 2020.

Supporting the NGO « Compassion Protestant Society », which is acting in the heart of the Lebanese crisis

ACO intends to be responsive to the analysis and the vision of the Churches of the Middle East, in order to help them meet their many challenges.

The areas of action are very diverse: education, social support, sanitary and medical help, humanitarian emergencies, spiritual and theological training, support for local parish life, help with construction …

Ultimately, the strength of the ACO rests on multiple partnerships that are part of a consistent network of relationships where missionary organizations, churches in Europe, the United States and the Middle East recognize and support each other.

The Fellowship’s Executive Committee meeting in Beirut, 2015
Missionnary service at a UEPAL parish

However, ACO France could not carry out its mission without the decisive support of UEPAL Union of Protestant Churches of Alsace and Lorraine. The ACO is therefore grateful to benefit from the commitment of the parishes of UEPAL.

The ACO can also rely on generous individual donors and the occasional commitment of parishes of other Churches such as the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches of France and the United Protestant Church of France.