Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem
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Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem
Diocese of Jerusalem
Ecclesiastical provinceEpiscopal Church in Jerusalem and The Middle East
Membersc. 7000
CathedralSt. George's Cathedral, Jerusalem
Current leadership
BishopSuheil Dawani

The Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem (Arabic: ‎) is the Anglican presence in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon; it is a part of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, and based at St. George's Cathedral, Jerusalem. The diocese covers 7,000 Anglicans, with 35 service institutions, 29 parishes, 1500 employees, 200 hospital beds and 6,000 students.[1] From 1957 to 1976 the ordinary held the rank and title of Archbishop of Jerusalem; the ordinary is now the Bishop in Jerusalem. Today, Anglicans constitute a large portion of Jerusalem's Christians.

The current, fourteenth Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem is Suheil Dawani, who was elected Coadjutor Bishop on June 15, 2005 and was officially installed as Bishop on April 15, 2007.[2] He succeeded Riah Abu El-Assal, who retired on March 31, 2007 at the prescribed retirement age of 70 years.[3]

In August 2010, Israel declined to renew the residency permits for Dawani and his family, claiming the bishop had been engaged in fraudulent land deals on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.[4] After legal proceedings were commenced and following political pressure from a number of Christian churches and leaders, the permits were renewed on 26 September 2011.[5]


The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East began as a number of missionary posts of the Church Mission Society (CMS) in Cyprus, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. The Church Mission Society continues to provide the province with lay mission partners and ordained chaplains, but now the majority of its ministry is drawn from local congregations.

During the 1820s, CMS began to prepare for permanent missionary stations in the region.

In 1833, a missionary station was established in Jerusalem with the support of the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews (a Jewish Christian missionary society now known as the Church's Ministry Among Jewish People or CMJ). In 1839, the building of the Church of Saint Mark, Alexandria was begun.

On 5 October 1841, the Jerusalem Bishopric Act was passed, and on 7 November, Michael Alexander, a converted rabbi, was consecrated a bishop, to serve as the first "Bishop in Jerusalem".[6] His diocese originally covered the mission stations in the Middle East and Egypt, and was a joint effort with the united Evangelical Church in Prussia (the so-called Anglo-Prussian Union) for Anglicans and united Calvinists and Lutherans -- see Anglican-German Bishopric in Jerusalem.

In 1849, Christ Church, Jerusalem near Jaffa Gate became the first Anglican/Lutheran church in the city,[7] and in 1871 Christ Church in Nazareth was consecrated.[8][9]

The Anglo-Prussian Union ceased to function in 1881, and no bishop was appointed between 1881 and 1887, and from 1887, the missionary effort continued solely under Anglican auspices.

In 1888, George Blyth established the Jerusalem and the East Mission which was instrumental in raising funds for projects and missions throughout the Middle East. Saint George's Cathedral was built in 1898 in Jerusalem as a central focus for the diocese.

Later history

Although the diocese began as a foreign missionary organisation, it quickly established itself as part of the Palestinian community. In 1905, the Palestine Native Church Council[10] was established to give local Arabs more say in the running of the church. This led to an increase in the number of Arab clergy serving the diocese.

In 1920, the Diocese of Egypt and the Sudan was formed, separate from the Diocese of Jerusalem, with Llewelyn Gwynne as its first bishop. In the 1920s the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem founded St. George's College as a training seminary for local clergy.

In 1957, the Bishop in Jerusalem was elevated to the rank of an archbishop, albeit under the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop of Jerusalem had metropolitan oversight of the entire area of the current province with the addition of the Sudan (five dioceses in all). In that same year, Najib Cubain was consecrated Bishop of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, the first Arab bishop, assistant to the Archbishop of Jerusalem. During the 1950s, political unrest in Egypt left the diocese in the care of four Egyptian clergy under the oversight of the Archbishop of Jerusalem.

Diocese of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria

In July 1957, the Diocese of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria was carved out of the existing Diocese of Jerusalem.[11] Its only bishop (the area's first Arab bishop) was Najib Cubain; the diocese was reabsorbed upon the provincial reorganisation of 1976.[12]

Current position

In 1976, the structure of the Anglican church in the region was overhauled, with the Diocese of Jerusalem becoming an ordinary bishopric, and one of four dioceses forming the Province of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East. The Archbishop of Canterbury ceased to have metropolitan authority over the diocese, which came to be held by a rotating Presiding Bishop of the Province and the Central Synod, comprising the four dioceses. When a bishop reaches the age of 68, a coadjutor bishop is required to be elected to work alongside the bishop for two years, before the bishop's retirement at age 70.[1]

Also in 1976, Faik Haddad became the first Palestinian Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem.

Today, the Anglican church in Jerusalem has around 7,000 members.[1] The current Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem is Suheil Dawani, who was officially installed at St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem on 15 April 2007. Since the election of Dawani, he and the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem has had to take legal action against his predecessor Riah over the ownership of the Bishop Riah Educational Campus, a school established by Riah when he was bishop.[13]


According to a 2012 diocesan publication,[14] the following are the churches/congregations of the diocese:

  1. St. George's Cathedral, Jerusalem
  2. St Paul's Church, Jerusalem
  3. Church of the Redeemer, Amman, Jordan
  4. Theodore Schneller Chapel, Amman, Jordan
  5. Saviour Church, Zarka, Jordan
  6. The Virgin Mary Episcopal Church, Irbid, Jordan
  7. St Luke's Church, Marka, Jordan
  8. The Church of the Good Shepherd, Salt, Jordan
  9. St John the Baptist Church, Husn, Jordan
  10. Sts Peter & Paul Church, Aqaba, Jordan
  11. St Andrew's Church, Ramallah, Palestine
  12. St Peter's Church, Birzeit, Palestine
  13. Good Shepherd Church, Rafidia, Palestine
  14. St Philip's Church, Nablus, Palestine
  15. St Matthew's Church, Zababdeh, Palestine
  16. St Philip's Chapel, Gaza City, Palestine
  17. St Paul's Church, Shefa-'Amr, Israel
  18. Church of the Holy Family, Reineh, Israel
  19. Emmanuel Church, Ramleh, Israel
  20. St John's & St Luke's Church, Haifa, Israel
  21. Christ Church, Nazareth, Israel
  22. Saviour Church, Kufr Yasif, Israel
  23. All Saints' Episcopal Church, Damascus, Syria
  24. All Saints' Episcopal Church, Beirut, Lebanon

List of Anglican Bishops in Jerusalem

Under the joint auspices of the Anglican Church of England and the united Evangelical Church in Prussia:

Under sole Anglican auspices:

Anglican archbishops:

Episcopal (Anglican) bishops:

See also


  1. ^ a b c Suheil Dawani: The new Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem
  2. ^ Miller, Duane Alexander (December 2007). "The Installation of a Bishop in Jerusalem: The Cathedral Church of St. George the Martyr, 15 April 2007". Anglican and Episcopal History. 76 (4): 549-554. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ image shows Bishop Riah: Former Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, Riah Hanna Abu El-Assal, in 2006
  4. ^
  5. ^ Jerusalem residency row ends: The Church of England Newspaper, Sept 30, 2011
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-26. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Miller, Duane Alexander (October 2012). "Christ Church (Anglican) in Nazareth: a brief history with photographs" (PDF). St Francis Magazine. 8 (5): 696-703. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-08.
  9. ^ Miller, Duane A (June 2012). "The First Church of the Diocese of Jerusalem". Anglican and Episcopal History. 81 (2): 211-218. Retrieved 2014.
  10. ^ A History of Modern Palestine, One Land Two People, by Ilan Pappé, p 47. [2]
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ a b [4]
  13. ^ Court ruling favors Jerusalem diocese, not former bishop, in dispute over school's ownership, Episcopal News Service Archived November 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Diocese of Jerusalem (2012). The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. Jerusalem: Diocese of Jerusalem.
  15. ^ History of Anglican Church
  16. ^ Diocese of Egypt -- History of the Diocese (Accessed 22 June 2018)
  17. ^ "Consecration of two new Arab bishops". Church Times (#5821). 6 September 1974. p. 2. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 2019 – via UK Press Online archives.

Further reading

  • Encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 2 (2001). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 90-04-11695-8
  • Hoppe, Leslie J. (1999). A Guide to the Lands of the Bible. Liturgical Press. ISBN 0-8146-5886-5

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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