Munib Younan (Arabic: منيب يونان; born September 18, 1950 in Jerusalem) is the elected president of the Lutheran World Federation since 2010 and the Evangelical Lutheran Church Bishop of Palestine and Jordan in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land since 1998.
Early life and education
He studied deaconry and theology in Finland. He began studies in deaconry at Luther Opisto (college) in Järvenpää 1969-1972. Thereafter Younan studied theology at the Helsinki University in 1972-1976, receiving an MA in Theology in 1976. He also studied theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 1988 and holds honorary doctorates from Wartburg College in Iowa, awarded in 2001, and the University of Muenster, awarded in 2014.
Career and activities
Younan was ordained at the Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem and served pastorates in Jerusalem, Beit Jala, and Ramallah. Since 1990 Younan served as the president of the ELCJHL synod. In 1998 Younan was consecrated bishop of the ELCJHL.
He has also chaired the Board of Directors for the LWF owned Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem. Younan is the patron of Gospel Riders Jerusalem and Finland - a motorcycle club operating in cooperation with Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission.
Younan has been actively engaged in the Middle East Council of Churches, in various positions since 1985 and presently as the president of its Evangelical Family. Younan served as president of the Fellowship of the Middle East Evangelical Churches (FMEEC) in 2004-2010, which during his presidency unanimously voted if favor of the ordination of women as pastors. Youann is also a founding member of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), serving as the chair of Local Reference Group since 2002.
Younan is a co-founder of the Council of Religious Institutions in the Holy Land, made up of the two chief rabbis of Israel, heads of the local churches, the Chief Judge of the Islamic Court in Palestine and other Muslim leaders. In 2006, Younan was a co-signatory of the Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism.
Younan was elected on 24 July 2010 President of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), an organization that represents 145 churches in 79 countries around the world representing 70 million Christians. Previously he had served as the LWF vice president for the Asian region from 2004 to 2009.
Younan is the author of Witnessing for Peace: In Jerusalem and in the World published by Augsburg Fortress Press in 2003. In this volume, Younan presents the historical and social context of the Palestinian situation, beginning with the not-well-known story of Arab Christianity and his own background. He elaborates his own theology of nonviolence, centered on the call to witness, heeding a call to justice, inclusion, and forgiveness. He is author of many other articles and a participant at conferences throughout the world.
Younan is also recognized as a leader of interfaith dialogue and an advocate for dialogue, peace and justice in Palestine and Israel.
Younan has received numerous awards, including:
- Mikael Agricola Medallion, Finland (2008);
- Templar Peace Prize (2007);
- Bethlehem Star Award from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (2005);
- Holyland Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) Prize, Washington, DC (2004);
- Bethanien (Bethany) Prize, Methodist Church, Oslo, Norway (2004);
- Human Rights Award from the United Nations Association, Washington, DC (2001);
- The Finnish Peace Prize from the Finnish Christian Peace Movement (2001).
Younan is married since 1980 to Suad Yacoub from Haifa, whose family originates from Kfar Bir'im. Mrs. Younan is the Director of the Helen Keller School for the Blind in Beit Hanina. They have three children and one grandchild.
- Biking the Holy Land Jerusalem Post 2008
- Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism.
- Palestinian Bishop Elected President of the Lutheran World Federation The Lutheran World Federation 24 July 2010
- Munib Younan Witnessing for Peace: In Jerusalem and the World, edited by Fred Strickert (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2003).
Munib Younan, Witnessing for Peace: In Jerusalem and the World, edited by Fred Strickert (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2003).
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