As we focus our thoughts this Lent on the theme of home and homelessness, in Week 5 of the Lent Call we look particularly at Jerusalem.

Below, the Revd Nael Abu Rahmoun, Vicar of Nazareth – Christ Church talks about the ongoing problems in Jerusalem, as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent visit.

The Revd Nael Abu Rahmoun, Vicar of Nazareth – Christ Church, writes…

When we talk about the Anglican/Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, we mean by that, the ministry and presence of Anglican churches and institutions, organisations and strong commitment to justice, peace and reconciliation, in five different countries within the Middle East with somehow different contexts: Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Each country has its own difficulties and challenges where the Anglican Diocese serves everyone in the name of Jesus.

The Lebanese people have been facing a very difficult situation for a long time; they are stuck in a real crisis because of political and economic problems. In addition to the explosion in the port of Beirut in August 2020, the number of people living in poverty is increasing, people became homeless and had to find shelters and food. The Rector of All Saints Church of Beirut, Archdeacon Imad Zurob and his team as they are supported by the Diocese of Jerusalem, are doing a great job in helping the needy, the poor and the homeless.

From 24-26 March 2022, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby visited Lebanon; to welcome his Grace was the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem the Most Reverend Hosam Naoum and the Venerable Archdeacon Imad Zurob and a delegation of clergy and laity. They had some official visits, to the presidential palace and met with His Excellency the president Michel Aoun, to the Maronite Patriarchate and met with His Beatitude Patriarch Mar Bishara Alra’i and other bishops, to Saint Luke’s Anglican Rehabilitation Centre. The two Archbishops presided over the Holy Eucharist on the feast of the Annunciation.

After the visit to Lebanon, I interviewed Archbishop Hosam Naoum, he shared two highlights of the visit. The first: “Archbishop Justin Welby’s visit to Lebanon was a historic one since it was his first visit ever, he was really amazed, and he loved the country, the people and their hospitality. Certainly he will be visiting again. The visit was important to encourage and stand in solidarity with the forgotten people of Lebanon and our Diocese and especially All Saints church. We also spent time in praying for the situation”. The second: “It was a very important visit for me as the diocesan bishop and for the delegation of clergy accompanied me to be with Archdeacon Imad and the people of All Saints. Despite the difficult situation which the Lebanese find themselves in, their resilience and their love for life cannot be hidden, they have given us encouragement as they teach us how to be resilient”.

Archdeacon Imad expressed his special feeling of the visit: “This visit for us is historic like the 200 years old icon of the Annunciation presented to Patriarch Alra’i by Archbishop Naoum, we needed and waited for this visit and will always remember the heavenly love of of the special guests”.

As mentioned above, the difficulties are many, our people and nations in the Diocese suffer a lot, because of the political and economic issues. All people will know and imagine the situation in Syria. The Church in Jordan serve refugees from Iraq, Syria and Palestine, it is an important ministry. I share other problems. For example, people from the West Bank need a permit entry to Israel for work or visit holy sites and relatives, even clergy need a permit to attend meetings or activities in Jerusalem and Israel. This weekend we are gathering youth from Palestine and Israel in Nazareth for a retreat, but youth from some areas of the West Bank didn’t get permits including two of our clergy. Saint George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem and the Bishop’s residence are just few meters from the Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood, where Palestinians are forced to be displaced from their homes. In all these challenges our parishes, families and young people are affected.

Please pray for the ministry of the Diocese of Jerusalem, for peace, justice and security for all peoples of the Land of the Holy One and other parts of the Diocese. You are most welcome to visit us and meet the living stones, your sisters and brothers in Christ.

How to help

During this coming week, please think and pray about the people of the Diocese of Jerusalem, both those who are homeless or living in insecure accommodation and those who are working to help them. Download this week’s Project Sheet to find out more about the projects we are supporting and please consider giving to the Lent Call to help fund their work. You can find details of how to donate at:

We have created a series of Lenten Reflections based around the readings for each week. You can download these, and Worship Sheets aimed at those working with children and young people, from our Resources page:

Whatever you feel you can do, please pray for God’s justice and equality for all, and remember all those who will be helped by the Bishop’s Lent Call projects this year, that they might find shelter, security and a place to call home. Thank you.