West Bank church stands with unjustly incarcerated parishioner Layan Nasir
Written by Rev. Fadi Diab, priest at St. Peter’s Anglican/Episcopal Church in Birzeit and St. Andrew’s Anglican/Episcopal Church in Ramallah; and Chief Justice at the Episcopal Ecclesiastical Court in Jerusalem and Diocesan Secretary at the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East. The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem is a partner of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
[This article was originally published today on Mondoweiss. Please click through to read the full article.]
[UPDATE: Sept. 6 – “A temporary reprieve for Layan“]
Layan Nasir, a parishioner at St. Peter’s Anglican/Episcopal Church in Birzeit, Palestine, is a 21-year-old Nutrition and Dietetics student at Birzeit University. A remarkable young woman with a calm demeanor, tender spirit, and incredible potential, Layan was raised in a devout Anglican family to live her faith in the midst of the whatever challenges may come in life.
The story of Layan’s baptism as an infant embodies the Palestinian experience of faith under colonial domination. On the day of her baptism, Israeli forces blocked the road between Ramallah and Birzeit, a short 12 kilometers away. The Anglican priest in Ramallah, Fr. Samir Esaid, serving the community in Birzeit, was stopped at the checkpoint and denied passage. He explained the situation to the soldiers to no avail. So, Fr. Esaid called the Catholic priest in Birzeit, Fr. Eyad Twal. Layan and her brother were baptized in an Anglican church by a Catholic priest.
Layan’s baptism was the first of many experiences defined in part by the Israeli occupation.