Written by 4:57 pm In the News

Holy Land’s first woman pastor

The first woman pastor has been ordained in Jerusalem.

A Lutheran church ceremony in Jerusalem ordained the first Palestinian female pastor in the Holy Land.

Reverend Sally Azar made history as the first Palestinian woman to get ordained as a pastor at the Church of Jerusalem. She will head the English-speaking congregation at the Church of the Redeemer, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land said.

Her ordination was held inside the church in Jerusalem’s Old City. Crowds gathered in their hundreds to see the historic ordination.

Azar is a member of the Lutheran World Federation and was made a council member of the Asia region before assuming the role. Prior to that, she graduated from the Near East school of Theology in Lebanon, before completing her graduate studies in Germany.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church says it has around 3,000 adherents in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Jordan.

Azar will be one of five ordained women in the Middle East, joining one in Syria and three in Lebanon, according to the Middle East Council of Churches.

Azar told the BBC: “I hope that many girls and women will know this is possible and that other women in other churches will join us. I know it will take a long time, but I think it could be exciting if this changes in Palestine.”

Rev. Azar will head the English-speaking congregation at the Church of the Redeemer, under the the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.

Her ordination took place on Sunday the 22nd of January.

The West Bank and Gaza Strip were home to around 47,000 Christians as of 2017, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. Most Palestinian Christians belong to denominations that do not allow female clergy.

A very small minority belong to Protestant congregations that have women as ministers.

(AP)

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