A Palestinian protestant bishop was Saturday elected head of the Lutheran World Federation, representing some 66 million Lutheran Christians globally, the body announced, reported DPA.
Bishop Munib A. Younan, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land, was elected President of the Federation by 300 votes to 23, a statement on the body's website announced.
The 11th Assembly of the federation is meeting in Stuttgart until Tuesday.
Younan, 59, was born in Jerusalem and has led the Lutheran Church in the Holy Land since 1998.
The election of the Palestinian church leader to the highest post in the federation of 145 member churches from 79 countries is seen as controversial, and an attempt to push the problems of Christian churches in the Middle East up the agenda.
In recent years many Christian communities in majority-Muslim countries like Iraq and Egypt have come under increasing pressure.
Younan was the first churchman to translate the Augsburg Confession, a primary text of the reformed church, into Arabic.
Younan succeeds incumbent Bishop Mark S Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, who headed the body since 2003.