|WCC congratulates Mitri Raheb for German Media Prize|
The World Council of Churches (WCC) congratulates Palestinian Lutheran pastor Rev. Dr Mitri Raheb on receiving the 2011 “Deutscher Medienpreis” (German Media Prize). The award recognizes his individual work and Palestinian churches’ efforts for peace.
“Dr Raheb is a person with immense integrity. His understanding of Christian witness with clear words and profound actions makes him a deserving recipient of this honour,” said Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC.
Raheb is pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). He is among four recipients of the prestigious prize to be awarded in Baden-Baden, Germany today.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the prize this year, it honours individuals who, in their work for peace, have quietly carried on with little media attention. The Deutscher Medienpreis jury said Raheb was being honoured for building the Bethlehem congregation’s education, health care and dialogue programmes.
Raheb is president of the Diyar Consortium and the ELCJHL Synod. The Bethlehem congregation and the Consortium, along with other congregational and educational ministries, reach out to thousands of individuals and families each year in Jerusalem, other parts of the West Bank and Amman, Jordan.
“Raheb’s vision for building peace from within, knowing the roots of Palestine, its culture, churches and people, makes his work unique. Therefore we acknowledge his contribution to the ecumenical movement with great pride,” said Tveit.
This is not the first time that Raheb’s work has been internationally recognized. In 2008 he received the Aachen Peace Prize. Also receiving the Deutscher Medienpreis today are Dr Denis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Stanislaw Petrow of Russia and Dr Sakena Yacoobi of Afghanistan.
The 3,000-member ELCJHL has five congregations in Jerusalem, Ramallah and the Bethlehem area, and in Amman, Jordan. The church is led by Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan, who is also president of the Lutheran World Federation.