Sally Azar, a Palestinian woman from the city of Jerusalem, became the first woman to be ordained as a pastor in the Holy Land. Even though female church leaders play an important role in various parts of the world, it is only now that the Holy Land witnessed the ordination of a local woman. The ordination took place on January 22 at the Old City’s Lutheran church and was attended by a great number of well-wishers.
BBC News reports:
In many parts of the Christian world, female church leaders are no longer unusual. But until now, the Holy Land – where events in the Bible are set – had not seen a local woman ordained.
On Sunday, a Palestinian from Jerusalem, Sally Azar, became its first woman pastor at an event at the Lutheran church in the heart of the Old City, attended by hundreds of international well-wishers.
“I got more excited seeing the excitement of other people,” Reverend Azar told me. “It’s an indescribable feeling to take this step with the support of the church.”
“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.”
Ms. Azar’s ordination was conducted by Bishop Sani Azar, her father. In the role of a pastor, Ms. Azar will perform several duties including leading bible studies and services.
Ms Azar was ordained by her father Bishop Sani Azar. She insists that while his example inspired her, she never felt pressured into studying theology.
“It’s what I wanted, what I was called to do,” she says.
As a pastor she will take on different duties including leading services and bible studies in Jerusalem and in Beit Sahour, in the occupied West Bank, for English speaking congregations.
“It’s a big, big day for the life of our Church, it’s an important step forward and it’s overdue,” comments Reverend Dr Munther Isaac, Lutheran Pastor of Bethlehem and Beit Sahour.
He says he looks forward to introducing Reverend Azar as a role model at local Lutheran schools – which teach children who are Christians of all traditions and Muslims.
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