A NEWS RELEASE
From National Office of the ELCIC
Winnipeg, December 20, 2004 (ELCIC)-- This week Christians around the world ready themselves to hear the Christmas story and to sing once again the song of the angels, "Peace on earth. Good will to all". But all these years after the birth of our Christ, our earth is not peaceful. It is, therefore, worth celebrating a story like the one that follows (Information from the Lutheran World Federation).
Palestinian Lutheran Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan received the 2004 Bethany Award from the Bethany Foundation in Oslo, Norway for his leadership in working for peace, justice and reconciliation through dialogue between Christians, Jews and Muslims in the Middle East. The head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan (ELCJ) was equally recognized for his continuous witness of Arab Palestinian Christianity in the Holy Land.
The foundation, begun by the Methodist Church in 1897 also honored Younan for his service with the Augusta Victoria Hospital, an institution run by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Department for World Service program in Jerusalem. Younan has served as ELCJ bishop since 1998. He is LWF Vice-President for the Asian region, and a member of the LWF Executive Committee.
Accepting the award in October, Younan thanked the Bethany Foundation on behalf of Palestinian Christians, and paid tribute to his friends and colleagues in Norway for their partnership and support. "This makes our Palestinian church a church of martyria, serving suffering people with the love of God, even as it is suffering itself," he said. The ELCJ has 3,000 members in congregations in Israel, Jordan and Palestine. It joined the LWF in 1974. (ELCJ News)
The ELCJ is one of eight partners churches of the ELCIC. More information at http://www.holyland-lutherans.org/