The Diocese of Jerusalem

The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem is home to about 7000 Anglicans worshiping within twenty-eight different congregations. It is also responsible for more than thirty institutions, including hospitals, schools, clinics, rehabilitation centers, guesthouses, and retirement homes. Archbishop Hosam oversees all of these parishes and institutions, which are scattered across five separate countries or territories: Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Israel. This geographic spread adds innumerable complications to the work of the Diocese due to the many borders, checkpoints, and national governments involved. In particular, the divergent laws and politics of each region make the administration of these ministries exceedingly challenging.

Despite these difficulties, the Diocese responds actively to the need for healthcare and education in areas where many cannot afford it, making no distinction between religion, ethnicity, or gender. The Diocese especially considers education for the next generation of leaders to be a vital bridge-building contribution that helps bring stability to an otherwise troubled region. Thus, our diocesan schools not only teach students academic and vocational skills, but also seek to engender within them a spirit of peace, respect, and cooperation—all based upon Christian values. In so doing, the Diocese offers a voice of moderation and reconciliation to our interfaith neighbors.

Beyond our parish and institutional work, the Diocese of Jerusalem also sponsors a number of other ministries. The Diocesan Department for Peace, Reconciliation, and Interfaith Dialogue, for instance, was established in 2007. It encourages participation in the Jerusalem Peacebuilders program and supports other interfaith peace-building efforts.

The Diocese committment to strengthening the Christian presence in the Middle East is echoed by its ongoing projects to build new churches, and to restore and renew exisiting churches in need of renovation. As the work begins to restore St Peters Jaffa, it follows in the footsteps of several churches that the Diocese has restored in recent years. One such example is St Saviours, Akko, (pictured), which was extensively restored only four years ago, as the congregation there seek to grow and expand their ministry in this ancient and historic city. 

Because of political strife and lack of economic opportunity, the Christian population west of the Jordan river has dwindled from more than 25% a century ago to less than 2% today. In the face of this diminishing Christian presence, our diocesan ministries sustain and strengthen our witness, shining the light of Christ into areas of darkness, and offering hope to those otherwise living in despair.