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First woman ordained in the Holy Land

by Sophie Drew

The first woman pastor has been ordained in Jerusalem.

Palestinian Sally Azar was ordained at the Lutheran church in the Old City, making her the first woman in the Holy Land – and one of five in the Middle East – to be made a pastor. 

Currently, one woman serves as a pastor in Syria and three in Lebanon. 
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. 

According to multiple sources, crowds gathered in their hundreds to see the historic ordination. 

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."

She 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. 

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