Christian Middle Eastern immigrants and their families may be a small minority among American Christians, but in many cases, they are descendants of the world’s earliest Christians. With origins in Arab countries, Iran, Armenia and elsewhere, these communities have historical and cultural ties to such biblical lands as Mesopotamia, Egypt and Canaan. Their unique stories and heritages are part of a larger story that makes up the ELCA, and reminds us of the rich history and tradition of Christ’s church in the world.
Members of the Arab and Middle Eastern Lutheran congregations in the ELCA are diverse, with Arabic-speaking people from countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, and with various traditions, dialects and ethnic values. Our faith communities are committed to caring for the spiritual and social needs of congregations and their surrounding communities. They are witnesses of peace, justice, dialogue and reconciliation with the Muslim and Jewish communities. They provide community, support and hospitality for each person and family, with the assurance that there is a place for you here.
Arab and Middle Eastern Ministries in the ELCA serves our neighbors and strengthens the church through supporting existing ministries, evangelical outreach, advocacy, social ministry, nurturing ecumenical and interfaith relations, and leadership development. Building connections with ecumenical and interfaith partners that share a common vision for mission is critical since Middle Eastern Christians are being served by a variety of denominations and ministries; we can achieve much more by working together than we can individually or alone.
You can learn more about our vision and strategy for ministry by visiting the ELCA resources available online and downloading the full text of the ELCA’s “Arab and Middle Eastern Strategy: Bridges across History, Lands, and Cultures.”
The Association of Lutherans of Arab and Middle Eastern Heritage of the ELCA is a ministry of witness and service with and among people of Arab and Middle Eastern heritage, both in the ELCA and with ethnic communities in the United States, that affirms the dignity and worth of Arab and Middle Eastern people and their cultures. Members of the association seek to be a sign of God’s love in Christ as we celebrate our ethnic heritage and seek to share our gifts with the church and our brothers and sisters everywhere. We invite people of all backgrounds to join us!
Arab American Heritage Month