Lutheran World Federation
LWF logo.svg
TypeCommunion
ClassificationProtestant
OrientationLutheran
ScriptureBible
PresidentPanti Filibus Musa
General SecretaryAnne Burghardt
HeadquartersEcumenical Centre
(Geneva, Switzerland)
Origin1947
Members74 million
Official websitewww.lutheranworld.org Edit this at Wikidata

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF; German: Lutherischer Weltbund) is a global communion of national and regional Lutheran denominations headquartered in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. The federation was founded in the Swedish city of Lund in the aftermath of the Second World War in 1947 to coordinate the activities of the many differing Lutheran churches. Since 1984, the member churches are in pulpit and altar fellowship, with common doctrine as the basis of membership and mission activity.

The LWF now has 148 member church bodies in 99 countries representing over 77 million Lutherans;[1] as of 2020, it is the sixth-largest Christian communion (see list of denominations by membership). The LWF acts on behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and development work.

The Department for World Service is the LWF's humanitarian and development arm. It has programmes in 24 countries and is the UNHCR 9th largest implementing partner. The LWF is a member of ACT Alliance.

On 31 October 1999 in Augsburg, Germany, the Lutheran World Federation signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification with the Roman Catholic Church. The statement is an attempt to narrow the theological divide between the two faiths. The declaration also states that the mutual condemnations between 16th-century Lutherans and the Roman Catholic Church no longer apply. A similar event took place in Lund Cathedral at the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation when Pope Francis visited Scania, Sweden's southernmost province that originally was Danish.[2][3]

119 of the 145 member churches (80%) ordain women as ministers.[4]

History

The LWF was founded at Lund, Sweden, in 1947. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, it replaced the more informal Lutheran World Convention, which had been founded in 1924. The goal was to coordinate international activities of the many Lutheran churches, to provide a forum for discussions on theological and organizational issues, and to assist in philanthropy, missionary activity, and exchange of students and professors. A key leader was Executive Secretary Sylvester C. Michelfelder (1889–1951), representing the American Lutheran Church. He had been a leader in organizing $45 million in American help for the rebuilding of Protestant churches in Germany after 1945. By the time of his death in 1951, the federation represented 52 churches in 25 countries.[5]

Largest churches

The 20 largest member churches are (with number of members in millions; 2021 statistics):

  1. Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (10.4)[6]
  2. Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (7.9)[7]
  3. Church of Sweden (5.9)[8]
  4. Batak Christian Protestant Church (4.5)[9]
  5. Church of Denmark (4.3)[10]
  6. Malagasy Lutheran Church (4.0)[11]
  7. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (3.8)[12]
  8. Church of Norway (3.7)[13]
  9. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (3.6)[14]
  10. Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (3.0)[15]
  11. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover, Germany (2.6)[16]
  12. Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria, Germany (2.3)[16]
  13. The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (2.2)[17]
  14. Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany (2.1)[16]
  15. Evangelical Lutheran Church in Württemberg (2.0)[16]
  16. Protestant Church in the Netherlands (1.7)[18]
  17. Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (0.9)[19]
  18. Evangelical Church in Central Germany (0.7)[16]
  19. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony (0.7)[16]
  20. Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil (0.6)[20]
  21. Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (0.6)[21]

Federation officials

President

The President is the federation's chief official representative and spokesperson. He or she presides at meetings of the Assembly, Council and Meeting of Officers, and oversees the life and work of the federation in consultation with the General Secretary.[22]

Portrait Name Term Church Nationality
1
Anders Nygren.jpg
Anders Nygren
(1890–1978)
1947–1952 Church of Sweden  Sweden
2
Bundesarchiv Bild 194-0703-04, Kassel, 2. CVJM-Europa-Konferenz.jpg
Hanns Lilje
(1899–1977)
1952–1957 Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Hanover  Germany
3 Franklin Clark Fry
(1900–1968)
1957–1963  United States
4 Fredrik A. Schiotz
(1901–1989)
1963–1970 American Lutheran Church  United States
5
Voorzitter Juva, Bestanddeelnr 928-1087.jpg
Mikko Juva
(1918–2004)
1970–1977 Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland  Finland
6 Josiah Kibira
(1925–1988)
1977–1984 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania  Tanzania
7 Zoltán Káldy [de]
(1919–1987)
1984–1987 Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Hungary  Hungary
8 Johannes Hanselmann [de]
(1927–1999)
1987–1990 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria  Germany
9 Gottfried Brakemeier [pt]
(born 1937)
1990–1997 Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil  Brazil
10 Christian Krause [de]
(born 1940)
1997–2003 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brunswick  Germany
11
Mark hanson.jpg
Mark Hanson
(born 1946)
2003–2010 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America  United States
12
Munib Younan 2015.jpg
Munib Younan
(born 1950)
2010–2017 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land  Palestine
13 Musa Filibus
(born 1960)
2017–present The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria  Nigeria

General Secretary

The Lutheran World Federation Council elects the General Secretary, who is appointed for a seven-year term. The person appointed is eligible for re-election. The General Secretary conducts the business of the federation assisted by the Communion Office Leadership Team, comprising department and unit heads appointed by the Council, and carries out the decisions of the Assembly and Council.[23] On 19 June the LWF Council elected Estonian theologian Rev. Anne Burghardt as the next General Secretary. She is the first woman to serve in this role. Rev. Burghardt will assume office on 1 November.[24]

Name Term Nationality
1 Sylvester Michelfelder
(1889–1951)
1947–1951  United States
2 Carl Lund-Quist [de]
(1908–1965)
1951–1960  United States
3 Kurt Schmidt-Clausen [de]
(1920–1993)
1960–1965  Germany
4 André Appel [fr]
(1921–2007)
1965–1974  France
5 Carl Henning Mau Jr.
(1922–1995)
1974–1985  United States
6 Gunnar Stålsett
(born 1935)
1985–1994  Norway
7 Ishmael Noko
(born 1943)
1994–2010  Zimbabwe
8 Martin Junge [de]
(born 1961)
2010–2021  Chile
9 Anne Burghardt 2021-  Estonia

Members

This map shows the global distribution of Lutheranism based on The LWF 2013 membership data.[25][a]

Lutheranism by country in 2013, Lutheran World Federation member churches

Sorted by country in alphabetical order

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Angola
Evangelical Church of the River Plate (includes Paraguay and Uruguay)
United Evangelical Lutheran Church
Lutheran Church of Australia (includes New Zealand) – associate member church (also an associate member of the International Lutheran Council)
Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Austria
Bangladesh Lutheran Church
Bangladesh Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States
Lutheran Church of Belgium: Arlon and Christian Mission
Bolivian Evangelical Lutheran Church
German-Speaking Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in Bolivia
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana
Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil
Church of the Lutheran Brethren of Cameroon
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Lutheran Church of the Central African Republic
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile
Lutheran Church in Chile
The Chinese Rhenish Church Hong Kong Synod
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hong Kong
Hong Kong and Macau Lutheran Church
Tsung Tsin Mission of Hong Kong
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia
St Matthew's Lutheran Congregation
St. Martin's Lutheran Congregation
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Congo
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Costa Rica
Lutheran Costarican Church
Evangelical Church in the Republic of Croatia
Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren
Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark (includes Church of Greenland, but not the Church of the Faroe Islands)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ecuador
Salvadoran Lutheran Church
Evangelical Church of Eritrea
Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (also a member of the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum)
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
Union of Protestant Churches of Alsace and Lorraine
United Protestant Church of France
Malagasy Protestant Church in France
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (also a full member of the International Lutheran Council)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States
Church of Lippe, Lutheran Classis
Evangelical Church in Central Germany
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Baden
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brunswick
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg
Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Schaumburg-Lippe
Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad
Evangelical Lutheran Congregation "La Epifania"
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary
Christian Lutheran Church of Honduras
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland
Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Madhya Pradesh
Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Himalayan States
Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church
Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chotanagpur and Assam
India Evangelical Lutheran Church (also a full member of the International Lutheran Council)
Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church
Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church
South Andhra Lutheran Church
The Arcot Lutheran Church
The Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church
Batak Christian Community Church
Christian Communion of Indonesia Church in Nias
Christian Evangelical Church in Minahasa
Christian Protestant Church in Indonesia
Christian Protestant Angkola Church
Evangelical Church in Kalimantan
Indonesian Christian Lutheran Church (also a member of the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum)
Pakpak Dairi Christian Protestant Church
Protestant Christian Batak Church
The Protestant Christian Church
Protestant Christian Church in Mentawai
Simalungun Protestant Christian Church
The United Protestant Church
The Lutheran Church in Ireland
Lutheran Evangelical Church in Italy
Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church
Japan Lutheran Church – associate member church (also a full member of the International Lutheran Council)
Kinki Evangelical Lutheran Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan & the Holy Land
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya (also a full member of the International Lutheran Council and a member of the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum)
Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church
Lutheran Church in Korea (also a full member of the International Lutheran Council)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia
Lutheran Church in Liberia
Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lithuania
Malagasy Lutheran Church (also a full member of the International Lutheran Council)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi
Basel Christian Church of Malaysia
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia
Lutheran Church in Malaysia and Singapore
The Protestant Church in Sabah
German-Speaking Evangelical Congregation in Mexico
Mexican Lutheran Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mozambique
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Myanmar
Lutheran Church of Myanmar
Myanmar Lutheran Church (also an associate member of the International Lutheran Council)
The Mara Evangelical Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN – GELC)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN)
Nepal Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church
Protestant Church in the Netherlands
Nicaraguan Lutheran Church of Faith and Hope
Lutheran Church in Nigeria
The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria
Church of Norway
Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Norway
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan & the Holy Land
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Peru
Peruvian Lutheran Evangelical Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea
Gutnius Lutheran Church (also a full member of the International Lutheran Council)
Lutheran Church in the Philippines (also a full member of the International Lutheran Council)
Evangelical Church of Augsburg Confession in Poland
Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Romania
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (also a full member of the International Lutheran Council)
Lutheran Church of Rwanda
Lutheran Church of Senegal
Slovak Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Serbia
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sierra Leone
Lutheran Church in Singapore
Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovak Republic
Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovenia
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (Cape Church)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (N-T) [de]
Moravian Church in South Africa
Lanka Lutheran Church (also a full member of the International Lutheran Council)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Suriname
Church of Sweden
Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein
Lutheran Church of Taiwan
Taiwan Lutheran Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (also a member of the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thailand
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States
Lutheran Church in Great Britain
The Lutheran Council of Great Britain
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Evangelical Church of the River Plate
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Uruguay
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Venezuela
Lutheran Church of Venezuela
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe

Views on same-sex unions

Some member denominations have recognized same-gender unions through marriage, a blessing rite, or special prayers. These include the Church of Denmark, Church of Iceland, Church of Norway, Church of Sweden, Evangelical Church in Austria, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Chile, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Geneva, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy, a majority of the churches within the Evangelical Church in Germany, Evangelical Church of the River Plate, Protestant Church in the Netherlands, and the United Protestant Church of France.[26]

On the other side, several churches, including the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, the Malagasy Lutheran Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lithuania, which recognize marriage as solely the union between a man and a woman, have broken ties with many of the churches supporting same-gender unions.[27]

The Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil supports civil same-sex marriage, but does not allow its ministers to celebrate same-gender unions, neither does it ordain ministers who are living in same-gender unions. [28]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ One of the countries with a higher number of Lutherans is the United States. The LWF does not include the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and several other Lutheran bodies which together have over 2.5 million members.[citation needed]

References

  1. ^ "About the LWF". The Lutheran World Federation. 2013-05-19. Retrieved 2021-08-03.
  2. ^ "The Lutheran World Federation". The Lutheran World Federation. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Pope Francis to visit Sweden for Reformation commemoration". Catholicherald.co.uk. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  4. ^ "More than 80 percent of LWF churches ordain women". The Lutheran World Federation. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  5. ^ Schjørring, Kumari & Hjelm 1997; Wentz 1965.
  6. ^ "Ethiopia | The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Tanzania | The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  8. ^ {"Sweden | The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  9. ^ "Indonesia | The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  10. ^ "Denmark | The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  11. ^ "Madagascar | The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  12. ^ "Finland | The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  13. ^ "Norway | The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  14. ^ "United States| The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  15. ^ "India | The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "Germany | The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  17. ^ "Nigeria | The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  18. ^ "Netherlands | The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  19. ^ "Namibia - The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  20. ^ "Brazil| The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  21. ^ "South Africa | The Lutheran World Federation". Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-24. Retrieved 2011-12-09.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-22. Retrieved 2012-01-10.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ "LWF elects Estonian Anne Burghardt as new General Secretary". The Lutheran World Federation. 2021-06-19. Retrieved 2021-08-23.
  25. ^ "The Lutheran World Federation 2013 Membership Figures" (PDF). Lutheranworld.org. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  26. ^ "Gay Marriage Around the World". Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  27. ^ "Ethiopian Church Severs Ties With Lutherans Over Homosexuality". Christian Post. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  28. ^ "Posicionamento sobre homoafetividade". Portal Luteranos. Retrieved 17 September 2021.

Bibliography

  • Schjørring, Jens Holger; Kumari, Prasanna; Hjelm, Norman A., eds. (1997). From Federation to Communion: The History of the Lutheran World Federation. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Fortress Press. ISBN 978-0-8006-3110-9.
Wentz, Abdel Ross (1965). "The Lutheran World Federation". In Bodensieck, Julius (ed.). The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church. Vol. 2. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Augsburg Publishing House. pp. 1422–1432.