Magazine article The Christian Century

Sani Ibrahim Azar Was Consecrated Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land on January 12

Magazine article The Christian Century

Sani Ibrahim Azar Was Consecrated Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land on January 12

Article excerpt

Sani Ibrahim Azar (above, right) was consecrated bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land on January 12. Munib Younan (above, left), now bishop emeritus, had been in the role since 1998.

The bishop's duties include governing six Palestinian Lutheran churches and four schools and administering a pilgrimage center at the baptismal site on the Jordan River. Addressing international partner churches the day after his installation, Azar said his priorities would include spiritual care for members, financial sustainability, gender justice efforts, and service to the community.

"Our pastors and laypeople will go where the people are, we will not sit by idly in our churches waiting for the people to come to us," he said.

Azar, who was born in Lebanon in 1961, served as pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem's Old City for 30 years. He also works with the Department of Services to Palestinian Refugees, a division of the Middle East Council of Churches.

In his sermon at his consecration, he gave thanks to his predecessors.

"From Bishop Munib Younan I have learned, and am still learning, that the basis for successful interfaith relations is to be unashamed of your faith in Jesus Christ and your identity as a Christian," he said. …

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