International Lutheran Council
TypeAssociation
ClassificationProtestant
OrientationLutheran
TheologyConfessional
ChairmanJuhana Pohjola
SecretaryGijsbertus van Hattem
General SecretaryRev. Dr. Klaus Detlev Schulz
TreasurerGerry Wiley
Origin1993
Members7.15 million
Official websitewww.ilc-online.org Edit this at Wikidata

The International Lutheran Council (ILC) is a worldwide association of confessional Lutheran denominations. Member bodies of the ILC hold "an unconditional commitment to the Holy Scriptures as the inspired and infallible Word of God and to the Lutheran Confessions contained in the Book of Concord as the true and faithful exposition of the Word of God." The member church bodies are not required to be in church-fellowship with one another, though many of them are.

The organization was constituted in 1993 at a council held in Antigua, Guatemala, although it traces its roots back to theological conferences held in various locations during the 1950s and 1960s. It is to be distinguished from the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference.

The council has 59 participating churches as of 2022.[1] Among its larger members are the Malagasy Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS), the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil, and the Lutheran Church—Canada. Altogether, approximately 7,150,000 adherents belong to ILC member churches.[2]

The council's chairman is Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland.[3] The executive secretary is Albert B. Collver III of the LCMS. Delegates to the ILC meet every two years.

The organization has not accepted the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, an agreement reached by the Catholic Church's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) and the Lutheran World Federation, in 1999. However, the ILC has been involved in dialogue with the PCPCU, with a final report released on 30 November 2021.[4][5]

History

The origins of the ILC go back to a meeting at Uelzen, Germany, in July 1952 by Lutherans who were not happy with the theological course being taken by the Lutheran World Federation. Among the participants were delegates from the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod who had been observers at the LWF assembly in Hannover. Other delegates were present from churches affiliated with the LCMS from Germany, Australia, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. Two further meetings were held, in Oakland, California, in 1958 and in Cambridge, England, in August 1963. At the latter meeting it was decided to create a permanent organization, a "Continuation Committee", to act for the group in between meetings, which were now dubbed International Lutheran Theological Conferences. The committee was also tasked with publishing a theological journal and a committee bulletin, and with facilitating exchanges of pastors, theological professors, and students. However, the meeting explicitly disclaimed it was founding a group in opposition to the LWF.[6]

Five more "theological conferences" were held until the name was shortened to International Lutheran Conference at the Eighth Conference in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Resolutions passed during this period described the ILC as a partnership, forum, or "group of independent Lutheran churches".[7] At the Fifteenth Conference in Antigua, Guatemala, the group decided on creating a more formal structure as an association of churches and adopted a set of Guiding Principles that would serve as a constitution and theological point of reference. The "Continuation Committee" was replaced by an "Executive Council".[8][9]

At the 2018 World Conference meeting, held in Antwerp, Belgium, on 25–26 September 2018, the ILC voted to admit 17 new church bodies, 11 as full members and 6 as associate members. This increased the church members of ILC to 54 and their faithful to 7.15 million members.[2]

At the 2022 World Conference meeting, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia was accepted as a full member.[10] It had already been accepted as an observer member in February 2022.[11]

Chairmen

World Conferences

The World Conference of the International Lutheran Council is an official meeting ordinarily held every three years. They are hosted by a church body whose invitation is accepted in the previous conference.

At the 23rd conference, the association unanimously adopted the statement "Same-Gender Relationships and the Church", which defined the practice of homosexuality as a sin.[13]

At the 26th conference, the association welcomed seventeen new church bodies into membership (eleven were received as full members and six as observer members) representing approximately 4.15 million Lutherans across the globe. Their addition more than doubles the number of Lutherans worldwide associated with the ILC, bringing the total to approximately 7.15 million members and bringing the total number of church bodies holding membership in the International Lutheran Council to 54.[14]

Members

By country in alphabetical order

Full members

Light green countries are home to one or more members or associate members of the International Lutheran Council
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina (Iglesia Evangélica Luterana Argentina)[15]
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Belgium (Evangelisch-Lutherse Kerk in België)[16]
Lutheran Church in Africa—Benin Synod[17][2]
Christian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bolivia (Iglesia Cristiana Evangélica Luterana de Bolivia) - also a member of the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil (Igreja Evangélica Luterana do Brasil)[18]
Lutheran Church—Canada
Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Republic of Chile (Iglesia Evangélica Luterana de la República de Chile)
Lutheran Church—Hong Kong Synod (香港路德會)
China Evangelical Lutheran Church (中華福音道路德會)
Ethiopian Evangelical Lutheran Church[19]
Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Denmark (Den evangelisk-lutherske Frikirke i Danmark)[20]
Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland (Finnish: Suomen evankelisluterilainen lähetyshiippakunta, Swedish: Evangelisk-lutherska missionsstiftet i Finland)[21][22][2]
Evangelical Lutheran Church-Synod of France (Église Évangélique Luthérienne - Synode de France)[23]
Independent Evangelical—Lutheran Church (Selbständige Evangelisch - Lutherische Kirche)[24]
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana[25] - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation
Lutheran Church of Guatemala (Consejo Luterano Iglesia Luterana en Guatemala)
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti (Eglise Evangelique Lutherienne D'Haiti)
India Evangelical Lutheran Church - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation
Japan Lutheran Church (日本ルーテル教団) - also an associate member of the Lutheran World Federation
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya[26] - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation and a member of the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum
Lutheran Church in Korea (기독교한국루터회)[27] - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia[28] - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Liberia[2]
Malagasy Lutheran Church[29][2] - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation
Lutheran Synod of Mexico (Sinodo Luterano de Mexico)
Lutheran Church Synod of Nicaragua (Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Nicaragua)
Lutheran Church of Nigeria[30]
Lutheran Church in Norway (Den Lutherske Kirke i Norge)[31]
Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of Norway (Det evangelisk-lutherske stift i Norge)[22][2]
Gutnius Lutheran Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Paraguay (Iglesia Evangélica Luterana del Paraguay)
Lutheran Church in the Philippines - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation
Portuguese Evangelical Lutheran Church[32]
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (Евангелическая-лютеранская Церковь ИНГРИИ)[33] - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation
Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (Сибирская Евангелическо-Лютеранская Церковь)[34]
Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa[35]
Lutheran Church in Southern Africa[36]
Spanish Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELE)
Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church,[19] replacement body for the Lanka Lutheran Church - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation
The Mission Province (Missionsprovinsen)[37][22][2] - also a member of the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum
Lutheran Church of Togo[38][2]
Lutheran Church of Uganda[39][2]
Evangelical Lutheran Church of England[40]
Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
American Association of Lutheran Churches
Lutheran Ministerium and Synod – USA
Lutheran Church of Uruguay[2]
Lutheran Church of Venezuela (Iglesia Luterana de Venezuela)

Associate members

Lutheran Church of Australia[41] - also an associate member of the Lutheran World Federation
Note: Lutheran Church of New Zealand is a district of Lutheran Church of Australia
Indonesian Lutheran Christian Church[2] - also a member of the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum
Evangelical Lutheran Church - Peru (Iglesia Evangélica Luterana - Perú) - also a member of the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum (Note: this is not the same Lutheran denomination as Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en el Perú, known as Christuskirche, member of the Lutheran World Federation).
Lutheran Mission in Africa—Synod of Thousand Hills[2]
St. Peter Confessional Lutheran Synod of South Africa[2]
South Sudan Evangelical Lutheran Church[2]
The Lutheran Church of the Republic of China[2] - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation

See also

References

  1. ^ https://ilc-online.org/2022/09/13/2022-world-conference-ilc-welcomes-new-members/
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "ILC welcomes 17 new member churches representing 4,15 million Lutherans worldwide". International Lutheran Council. 26 September 2018.
  3. ^ https://ilc-online.org/2022/09/14/2022-world-conference-bishop-pohjola-elected-as-ilc-chairman/
  4. ^ Block, Mathew (13 September 2018). "Meetings between ILC and PCPCU continue". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
  5. ^ Block, Mathew (30 November 2021). "Final report on ILC-PCPCU conversations released". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
  6. ^ Pearce, E. Geo; Ahlers, Peter H. F. "International Lutheran Conference - Summary of International Conferences" (PDF). International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  7. ^ Pearce & Ahlers pp.8-10
  8. ^ Pearce & Ahlers pp.15-6
  9. ^ Constitution/Guiding Principles
  10. ^ Block, Mathew (26 September 2022). "The ILC's 2022 World Conference in brief". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  11. ^ Block, Mathew (23 February 2022). "ILC welcomes Latvians into membership". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  12. ^ Block, Mathew (20 April 2017). "Former ILC Chairman enters into glory". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  13. ^ "ILC Statements". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 21 February 2023.
  14. ^ Block, Mathew (26 September 2018). "ILC welcomes 17 new member churches representing 4.15 million Lutherans worldwide". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  15. ^ "Argentina". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  16. ^ "Belgium". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  17. ^ "Benin". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  18. ^ "Brazil". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  19. ^ a b Block, Mathew (14 June 2023). "ILC welcomes Ethiopians and Sri Lankans into membership". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 15 June 2023.
  20. ^ "Denmark". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  21. ^ "Finland". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  22. ^ a b c Collver, Al (20 January 2016). "The Nordic Lutheran Dioceses and the International Lutheran Council Discuss Membership". ILC Online. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  23. ^ "France". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  24. ^ "Germany". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  25. ^ "Ghana". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  26. ^ "Kenya (ELCK)". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  27. ^ "Korea". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  28. ^ "Latvia". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  29. ^ "Madagascar". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  30. ^ "Nigeria". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  31. ^ "Norway and Iceland (LKNI)". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  32. ^ "Portugal". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  33. ^ "Russia (ELCIR)". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  34. ^ "Russia (SELC)". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  35. ^ "South Africa (FELSISA)". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  36. ^ "South Africa (LCSA)". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  37. ^ "Sweden". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  38. ^ "Togo". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  39. ^ "Uganda". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  40. ^ "England". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  41. ^ "Australia and New Zealand". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 19 May 2023.