Ordination of the first Palestinian female Christian Pastor in the Holy Land

01 February 2023

From our Mission Partner in the Holy Land - Angleena Keizer

The ‘Living Christianity in the Holy Land’ group that visits yearly during Christian Unity Week of Prayer is co-led by the Methodist Liaison Office staff and the Rev John Howard.  We had the opportunity to not only visit the holy sites and meet Christians, Muslims and Jews but also attend a variety of Church services.  We were thrilled to be invited to attend and witness one of the most historic and significant services on the 22nd January of the ordination of the first Palestinian female Christian Pastor in the Holy Land, the Revd Sally Azar. 


Sally was ordained at the Church of Redeemer, an Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Old City of Jerusalem, by her Father Bishop Sami Azar.  The procession of local and international clergy from around the world was led by Sally and the sounds of the Scout band. The church was packed with local and international guests, including 120 Bishops, of whom a high percentage were women.

Bishop Azar shared that “he was very excited seeing the excitement of other people” and that “it was an indescribable feeling to take this step with the support of the church”. He hoped other women would be inspired in different denominations in the Holy Land to join them, although recognising it could take a long time. He shared he was excited at the possibilities of change in Palestine a Patriarchal society. Sally became one of five women ordained in the Middle East, across all denominations; there being one in Syria and three in Lebanon according to the Middle East Council of Churches. 

We were greatly blessed to be able to join Revd Sally Azar and her family at this special moment in her, her family and church community lives.  We offered on behalf of the Methodist Church congratulations and our continued prayers for Revd Sally Azar’s ministry and step of faith.


Images copyright the Lutheran Church