Sally Azar has been ordained into priesthood by the Lutheran church, becoming the first Palestinian woman to serve as a pastor in the Holy Land of Jerusalem. A large crowd witnessed her ordination inside the church in Jerusalem’s Old City. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, there were approximately 47,000 Christians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as of 2017. The majority of Christians in Palestine are members of groups that forbid women from serving as clergy. However, a very small percentage of Protestants attend churches with female ministers.
Azar is set to 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. This makes it a great first step in bridging the gender gap; where women are placed in the role of encouraging and paving the path for future female pastors.