When it comes to Christianity, there are many different sects and denominations. But for one woman, there is only one path: ordained ministry. Geraldine Ferraro is the first woman pastor in the Holy Land, having been ordained in December of 2013. In an interview with The New York Times, she discusses her plans for the future and her hope that ordaining women will demonstrate the universality of Christianity. Although ordained ministry is still a rarity within Christianity, Geraldine Ferraro’s story underscores just how important it is to break down gender barriers and pursue equality regardless of where we stand within the faith.
Zainab Bayraktar is the first woman ordained as a pastor in the Holy Land
Zainab Bayraktar is the first woman ordained as a pastor in the Holy Land. The 38-year-old Turkish native was ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jerusalem on January 9th. In a ceremony attended by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and other influential figures, Bayraktar assumed leadership of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, which has about 120 members.
Prior to this, Bayraktar had been studying for years to become a Christian pastor. Born into a Muslim family in Istanbul, she converted to Christianity when she was 22 years old and moved to Israel to pursue her studies. “I am honoured to be the first woman pastor in Jerusalem,” she said after her ordination. “This is an important step forward for women and for Christianity.”
Bayraktar’s ordination is notable not just because it’s the first time a woman has been ordained as a pastor in the Holy Land, but also because it represents a growing trend towards gender equality within Christianity. According to estimates, there are now around 1,000 female pastors worldwide, many of whom were initially ordained as priests before pursuing their theological training as pastors.
Bayraktar is an advocate for interfaith dialogue and human rights
Bayraktar is an advocate for interfaith dialogue and human rights. She has served as a pastor in the United States and Turkey, both Muslim and Christian traditions, respectively. Bayraktar’s work focuses on promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding between Muslims and Christians, in order to promote human rights. She co-founded the Community of Christ sponsored Interfaith Dialogue Initiative (IDI) in 2001 with the goal of creating a forum for religious leaders from different faiths to engage in open dialogue about pressing global issues. Bayraktar is also the founder and president of The Bayraktar Foundation, which provides scholarships to Muslim students pursuing degrees in theology or related disciplines around the world.
Her dream is to make Christianity more accessible to people who don’
There are few women in leadership positions in the Christian faith, but that is changing. Following graduation from seminary, Rev. Sarina Brown embarked on a journey to become the first woman pastor ordained in the Holy Land. She is now ministering to a community that remains largely patriarchal and traditional. “One of my dreams is that Christianity will be more accessible to people who don’t have access to it now,” Rev. Brown told The Christian Post recently. “I think there’s an opportunity for us to reach out and touch people who may not have had an opportunity to hear about Jesus or come into relationship with Him.”
Rev. Brown is part of a small minority of women clergy in the Middle East, but she believes that change is coming. In 2015, she co-founded the Galilee Baptist Church – one of only two churches led by women in Israel at the time – and her congregation has since grown to over 100 members. Her church offers a variety of services including Sunday morning worship, Bible study groups, and youth programs, all geared towards making Christianity more accessible for those who might not ordinarily have access to it.
Her work has not been without its challenges; while her congregation has been supportive and welcoming, she faces resistance from some male leaders within the traditional Christian faith who view her ordination as an unauthorized intrusion into their domain. However, Rev. Brown remains confident in her ministry and believes that through hard work and