Munib Younan

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Munib Younan
Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
Munib Younan 2015.jpg
Bishop Munib Younan in 2015
Church Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
Installed 1998
Personal details
Birth name Munib Younan
Born (1950-09-18) 18 September 1950 (age 66)
Jerusalem, Israel
Nationality Palestinian
Denomination Lutheran
Spouse Suad Yacoub
Children 3
Alma mater University of Helsinki
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Munib Younan (Arabic: منيب يونان‎‎, Hebrew: מוניב יונאן‎‎; born September 18, 1950 in Jerusalem) is a Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land since 1998, and President of the Lutheran World Federation since 2010.

Early life and education[edit]

Munib Younan was born into a native Jerusalemite Arab family of Rûm origin that converted to Protestantism.

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 a Master of Arts in Theology in 1976. He also studied theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 1988.

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 several grandchilden.

Career and activities[edit]

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 - a motorcycle club operating in cooperation with Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission.[1]

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. Younan 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.[2]

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. In his role as LWF President, Younan has demonstrated untiring leadership speaking to Lutheran Church gatherings in numerous settings on five continents and represented Lutherans in Ecumenical Discussions. Previously he had served as the LWF vice president for the Asian region from 2004 to 2009.[3]

Achievements[edit]

Younan is the author of two books. In Witnessing for Peace: In Jerusalem and in the World published by Augsburg Fortress Press in 2003.[4] 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. Our Shared Witness: A Voice for Justice and Reconciliation,[5] is a compilation of some of Younan's speeches, sermons, articles and conference presentations that reflect his prophertic voice. 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 gender justice issues in Palestine and Israel.

Distinctions[edit]

Ecclesiastical decorations[edit]

  • St. Henrik Cross from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland (2011)

Academic distinctions[edit]

Awards and prizes[edit]

  • Niwano Peace Award, Japan (2017)
  • 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)[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Biking the Holy Land Jerusalem Post 2008
  2. ^ Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism.
  3. ^ Palestinian Bishop Elected President of the Lutheran World Federation The Lutheran World Federation 24 July 2010
  4. ^ Munib Younan Witnessing for Peace: In Jerusalem and the World, edited by Fred Strickert (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2003),
  5. ^ Munib Younan Our shared witness: A voice of Justice and Reconciliation, (Minnepolis, Lutheran University Press 2012)
  6. ^ Munib Younan - biographical sketch. Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.

External links[edit]