Our Bishop

Photo by Ben Gray / ELCJHL

I pray that I find the right way for the church, not for me.

Bishop Sani Ibrahim Azar

Bishop Sani Ibrahim Charlie Azar was born June 22, 1961 in Lebanon. Bishop Azar is a product of the Evangelical Lutheran Schools in Palestine, graduating from the Evangelical Lutheran School of Bethlehem in 1979. Bishop Azar earned his theology degree from Ludwig Maximillian University in Munich, Germany in 1987. He was ordained on March 25, 1988 and served as pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in the Old City of Jerusalem for 30 years. He was elected Bishop in January 2017.

Before becoming the pastor of Redeemer, Bishop Azar served director of youth ministries and president of the ELCJHL Synod. In his service to the church, Bishop Azar has always been a member of the ELCJHL Church Council. He is deeply passionate about meeting the individual and communal needs of the Palestinian people, especially Christians.

Bishop Azar is also highly involved in Lutheran and Ecumenical Christian organizations in the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East. Presently, he serves a member of the board of the Near East School of Theology and the Bethany Beyond the Jordan Baptismal Site, and as President of the Lutheran Ecclesiastical Court. He also serves on the Department of Services to Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches and the Housing Committee of the Augusta Victoria Hospital – Lutheran World Federation. He also is a board member of the Jerusalem Society of Berlin Missions and the Vice President of the Evangelical Lutheran German School of Talitha Kumi in Beit Jala.

Bishop Azar is the founder of the Day Care Center for the Elderly located next door to Redeemer in Martin Luther Community Development Center.

Curriculum Vitae of Bishop Azar below