Middle East and North Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa, the need for God’s mission of restoring community, reconciliation and peace-building is urgent. The ELCA and our companions and partners are working together to bring new life, strong leaders and healing to the region.

The “Arab Spring” that so many hoped would birth new, more peaceful nations has also sparked rampant violence and chaos and is threatening the regional Christian presence. Christians in the Middle East, although a minority, are working quietly but profoundly to help shape healthier and more peaceful societies. Jordan’s King Abdullah believes that Christians are the “glue” that holds the future of the Middle East together. The ELCA is honored to accompany and advocate with Arab and Middle Eastern Christians as they engage in efforts to promote the flourishing of human community throughout the region.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, the ELCA’s main companion in this region, builds faith, peace and justice through its congregations, schools and ministries and with the ELCA mission personnel who work with them, including a team of Young Adults in Global Mission. Through vital ministries such as Dar al Kalima College in Bethlehem and St. Andrew’s Church and Refugee Service in Cairo, the ELCA helps build leaders who will promote Christian presence and witness for human dignity. Through companions, partners and dialogues, the ELCA promotes Muslim-Christian-Jewish reconciliation and challenges Christian Zionism, a movement that demeans our companions and exacerbates Christian-Jewish tensions. Through The Lutheran World Federation’s Jerusalem program, we support health care, vocational training, and refugees from Syria fleeing violence. The ELCA was one of the first churches to partner with Syria’s Christians in providing aid to internally displaced people. In addition, the Middle East Council of Churches connects the ELCA to Christians from Cyprus to Iran and Iraq.

ELCA synods and congregations throughout the U.S. work through the Peace Not Walls campaign for Middle East peace by developing working groups that network together. Find out how you can add your voice to this movement.

Learn how to support global companions in the Middle East and North Africa by clicking here.