Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church
The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church is a Lutheran church in Estonia. EELC is member of the Lutheran World Federation and belongs to the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, it is a member of the Porvoo Communion, putting it in full communion with the Church of England and other Anglican churches in Europe. The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church was constituted in 1949, when the previous church hierarchy, Eesti Evangeeliumi Luteriusu Kirik, headed by bishop Johan Kõpp, had escaped to Sweden in 1944; when the Soviet Union invaded Estonia in 1940, most Christian organizations were dissolved, church property was confiscated, theologians were exiled to Siberia, religious education programs were outlawed. World War II brought devastation to many church buildings, it was not until 1988 that church activities were renewed when a movement for religious tolerance began in the Soviet Union. Although women had studied theology at Tartu University in the 1920s and some had sought ordination as priests, it was not until 1967 that the first woman, Laine Villenthal, was ordained.
In 2014, the church reported that there were 43 women serving as ministers. The Church of Estonia is episcopal in polity, is led by five bishops, including the archbishop who serves as the Primate; the archbishop has overall control, under his authority there are four jurisdictions, each with its own Bishop. Following the retirement of Andres Põder as archbishop, the current archbishop is Urmas Viilma, consecrated on 2 February 2015. During the Soviet occupation of Estonia, the Archbishop went into exile, which resulted in the formation of a parallel church, the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad; until 2010 this body was independent, with its own Archbishop based in Canada. In 2010 the two churches reunited, the former overseas church became a diocese of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, known as the Extra-Estonian Diocese. Jakob Kukk Hugo Bernhard Rahamägi Johan Kõpp Jaan Kiivit Sr. Alfred Tooming Edgar Hark Kuno Pajula Jaan Kiivit Jr. Andres Põder Urmas Viilma As of February 2009, the EELC reported 160,000 baptized members and the EELC Abroad reported 8,000 baptized members.
A previous figure broke down the EELC Abroad into 3,508 members with 12 clergy in the USA and 5,536 members with 11 clergy in Canada. In 2014, the Lutheran World Federation reported the number of registered members as being 180,000; the church reported. The church has both liberal members; the church does ordain women to the priesthood, unlike the more conservative Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia and Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lithuania. In an interview, Archbishop Urmas Viilma stated that the church allows women ordination and "will continue to do so"; the church disapproves homosexual unions, believing marriage is the sacred union of a man and a woman. It only allows celibate gay ministers to be ordained. However, Archbishop Viilma did state that if same-sex marriage is legalized in the country, "then the church will need to redefine itself", but he stated that "we interpret the Bible to say that practicing homosexuality is sin...but we all are equal in God’s eyes an welcome in church."
The Lutherans leaned toward opposing the death penalty, although they took no official stance, the church does not have a committee "dealing with social-political questions". Https://web.archive.org/web/20040803083318/http://www.eelk.ee/english.php The History Files Churches of Estonia Map of Church in Tallinn Map of Church in Tartu
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia, Ukraine and Central Asia known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and the Other States, is a Lutheran denomination that itself comprises seven regional Lutheran denominations in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan as well as individual congregations in Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Established in its current form in 1999, ELCROS has about 24,050 members in more than 400 congregations within its jurisdiction; the constituent dioceses of ELCROS were founded as German Lutheran denominations. However, the church now worships extensively in the Russian language with around 30% of its members being ethnically Russian; the current archbishop of ELCROS is the Most Rev. Dietrich Brauer. Lutheranism had established itself in the Teutonic states of the Baltics and Ingria in the early years of the Reformation. Ivan the Terrible invited German artisans and professionals to help modernize Russian institutions, bringing Lutherans into Russia proper.
The first church consecrated for Lutheran use in Moscow, St. Michael's Church, was completed in 1576. By the end of the 17th century, German Lutherans were spread throughout Russia among the military garrisons; as a result of the Great Northern War, the former Swedish provinces of Livonia and Estonia, with their large Lutheran populations, were ceded to Russia. To gain the support of the Baltic nobility, the Lutheran churches were granted freedom of dogma and administration by Peter the Great. Catherine the Great's policy of populating frontier areas of the Russian Empire with immigrants further increased the number of German Lutherans in Russia. Despite the de facto recognition of Lutheranism in Russia, it was still considered a foreign faith, with restrictions on proseltytization placed to limit the expansion of the faith to non-Russian nationalities only and secular oversight being placed under the Main Administration for Ecclesiastical Affairs of Foreign Faiths. In 1832, de jure recognition was granted to the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia was established uniting Lutheran and Reformed congregations in the administrative regions of Russia proper, the Kingdom of Poland with the Czar as the Supreme Bishop.
The ELCR was granted the status of a State Church for minorities whose properties and leadership would be funded and salaried by the state. In 1905, full religious freedom was granted with an Edict of toleration and Lutheran churches were allowed to conduct services and their liturgy in the Russian language. By 1914, the Lutheran Church in Russia proper itself had grown to include 1,828 congregations comprising 3,660,000 members of various nationalities. With Russia's joining of the First World War on the side of Triple Entente against the German Empire, a policy of mass deportation of the German minorities in Russia was implemented; as a significant number of Russia's Lutherans were German or German-speaking, this affected the Lutheran church. The Russian Revolution of 1917 and the end of the First World War in 1918 brought tremendous changes to the Lutheran church; the former Russian territories of Estonia, Latvia and Poland, with large Lutheran populations, gained independence. In December 1917, schools and seminaries were nationalized.
By 1921, religious instruction to persons under the age of 18 was banned. The deportation policies of the Tsarist era was continued in some areas, bolstered by the participation of whole German-speaking communities on the side of the White Russians against the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War. In 1924, the remaining clergy of the ELCR met in a General Synod in Moscow to re-organise the church; the reorganised ELCR was put under the supervision of two elected bishops, Artur Malmgren of Leningrad and Theophil Meyer of Moscow. Despite approval of a new constitution for the Lutheran Church in 1924 by the new Bolshevik government, the collectivization policies of Joseph Stalin in 1928 scattered the population, official anti-religion campaigns intensified in the 1930s under the authority of the 1929 Law on Religion resulting in the incarceration of pastors in deportation camps and, in some cases, their executions. In 1936, Bishop Malmgren left Russia for Germany; the Second World War brought another upheaval to the Lutheran communities.
Mass deportations of Germans from European Russia to Soviet Asia and Siberia occurring prior to the German invasion of Russia had the net result of decimating religious life among the German-speaking Lutherans, as no religious services were allowed in the deportation regions. The only exception was a Lutheran church in Tselinograd, established by Eugen Bachmann in 1957 and granted registration the same year; the remaining Lutherans survived the collapse of the ELCR by joining existing Brethren communities, in which leadership and pastoral care was given by laypeople. Such Brethren communities influenced by Pietism, had been in existence since the 19th century but had managed to survive the persecutions of the Soviet state due to their fluid structure. In 1955, three ELCR pastors who had survived the concentration camps and deportations visited the underground Brethren congregations in the deportation regions in attempts to regularize the administration of the churches, but they were in most cases unsuccessfulThe Soviet annexation of the Baltic states in 1944 brought back a significant Lutheran population and the var
Archbishop of Uppsala
The archbishop of Uppsala has been the primate in Sweden in an unbroken succession since 1164, first during the Catholic era, from the 1530s and onward under the Lutheran church. There have been bishops in Uppsala from the time of Swedish King Ingold the Elder in the 11th century, they were governed by the archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen until Uppsala was made an archbishopric in 1164. The archbishop in Lund was declared primate of Sweden, meaning it was his right to select and ordain the Uppsala archbishop by handing him the pallium. To gain independence, Folke Johansson Ängel in 1274 went to Rome and was ordained directly by the pope; this practice was increasing, so that no Uppsala archbishop was in Lund after Olov Björnsson, in 1318. In 1457, the archbishop Jöns Bengtsson was allowed by the pope to declare himself primate of Sweden. Uppsala was located a couple of miles to the north of the present city, in what is today known as Gamla Uppsala. In 1273, the archbishopric, together with the relics of King Eric the Saint, was moved to the market town of Östra Aros, which from on is named Uppsala.
In 1531, Laurentius Petri was chosen by King Gustav I of Sweden to be archbishop, taking that privilege from the pope and in effect making Sweden Protestant. The archbishop was declared primus inter pares i.e. first among equals. The archbishop is Primate of Sweden. In 2000, the Archbishop of Uppsala was aided in the diocese by a bishop of Uppsala Ragnar Persenius; the labours of the archbishops extended in all directions. Some were zealous pastors such as Jarler and others. There were scholars, such as Johannes Magnus, who wrote the "Historia de omnibus Gothorum sueonumque regibus" and the "Historia metropolitanæ ecclesiæ Upsaliensis", his brother Olaus Magnus, who wrote the "Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus" and, the last Catholic Archbishop of Upsala; the archbishops and secular clergy found active co-workers among the regular clergy. Among the orders represented in Sweden were the Benedictines, Dominicans, Franciscans and Carthusians. A Swedish Protestant investigator, Carl Silfverstolpe, wrote: "The monks were the sole bond of union in the Middle Ages between the civilization of the north and that of southern Europe, it can be claimed that the active relations between our monasteries and those in southern lands were the arteries through which the higher civilization reached our country."See Birger Gregersson, Nils Ragvaldsson, Jöns Bengtsson, Jakob Ulfsson, Gustav Trolle, Johannes Magnus, Laurentius Petri, Abraham Angermannus, Olaus Martini, Petrus Kenicius, Laurentius Paulinus Gothus, Johannes Canuti Lenaeus, Erik Benzelius the Elder, Haquin Spegel, Mattias Steuchius, Uno von Troil, Jakob Axelsson Lindblom, Johan Olof Wallin, Karl Fredrik af Wingård, Henrik Reuterdahl Anton Niklas Sundberg and Nathan Söderblom.
The first written mention of a bishop at Uppsala is from Adam of Bremen's Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum that records in passing Adalvard the Younger appointed as the bishop for Sictunam et Ubsalam in the 1060s. Swedish sources never mention him either in Uppsala; the medieval Annales Suecici Medii Aevi and the 13th century legend of Saint Botvid mention some Henry as the Bishop of Uppsala in 1129, participating in the consecration of the saint's newly built church. He is the same Bishop Henry who died at the Battle of Fotevik in 1134, fighting along with the Danes after being banished from Sweden. Known from the Chronicon Roskildense written soon after his death and from Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum from the early 13th century, he had fled to Denmark from Sigtuna, he is omitted from, or at least redated in, the first list of bishops made in the 15th century. In this list, the first bishop at Uppsala was Sverinius, succeeded by Nicolaus, Sveno and Kopmannus. With the exception of Henricus, the list only mentions their names.
1164–1185 Stefan 1185–1187 Johannes. Johannes was ordained by the Archbishop of Lund, Absalon by November 1185. In 1187, a ship from the pagan Estonia entered Mälaren, a lake close to Uppsala, on a plundering expedition, it sailed to Sigtuna, a prosperous city at that time, plundered it. On its way back, barricades were set up at the only exit point at Almarestäket to prevent
Diocese of Viborg
The Diocese of Viborg is a diocese within the Danish National Church, covering the western part of central Jutland. The diocese has the highest ratio of church members in Denmark, about 85%. Jacob Schøning: 1537~1549 Kjeld Juel: 1549~1571 Peder Thøgersen: 1571~1595 Vacant Hans Iversen Wandal: 1617~1641 Vacant Peder Villadsen: 1661~1673 Søren Glud: 1673~1693 Henrik Gerner: 1693~1700 Bartholomæus Deichman: 1700~1713 Caspar Wildhagen: 1713~1720 Søren Lintrup: 1720~1725 Johannes Trellund: 1725~1735 Andreas Wøldike: 1735~1770 Christian Michael Rottbøll: 1770~1780 Peder Tetens: 1781~1805 Jens Bloch: 1805~1830 Nicolaj Esmark Øllgaard: 1830~1854 Otto Laub: 1854~1878 Jørgen Swane: 1878~1901 Alfred Sveistrup Poulsen: 1901~1921 Johannes Gøtzche: 1921~1936 Axel Malmstrøm: 1936~1951 Christian Baun: 1951~1968 Johannes W. Jacobsen: 1968~1985 Georg S. Geil: 1985~1996 Karsten Nissen: 1996~2014 Henrik Stubkjær: 2014~present Ancient Diocese of Viborg St. Peter's Priory, Grinderslev
Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland
The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland is a Lutheran denomination and the largest Protestant body in Poland with about 61,000 members and 133 parishes. The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession stems from the Reformation which began in October 1517; the first Lutheran sermons took place in 1518, in 1523 the first Lutheran dean, Johann Heß, was called to the city of Breslau, whence Lutheranism spread through the Polish lands. In interwar Poland the Evangelical-Augsburg church was the largest Protestant denomination, with about half a million followers, but unlike in post-WWII Poland it was not the only Lutheran church in the country, it competed for the hearts of Lutherans living in the territory of the revived Polish state with the Evangelical Union Church in Greater Poland, with the Augsburg and Helvetic Evangelical Church in the areas of the Austrian partition, with other churches. Its adherents dominated in the Protestant circles in central Poland, which had formed part of Russia prior to 1918, while the other churches were based in the south and west of the newly established country.
In 1918 the Lutheran parishes of Cieszyn Silesia were incorporated into the structures of the Evangelical-Augsburg church, raising the overall number of its followers by about 100,000, although about half of these parishes left the church in 1920 when a significant section of the area became part of Czechoslovakia following the Polish-Czechoslovak War of January 1919. They were reincorporated in 1938 when Poland gained control over Zaolzie after a military intervention; the greatest challenge for the church before the outbreak of World War II in 1939 was the problem of nationalism, as about three quarters of all adherents in 1939 were German, the remaining quarter Polish. In the diocese of Łódź, largest in terms of the Lutheran population, more than 98% Lutherans were German, while in Silesia, comparable in terms of the number of adherents, more than 80% were Polish. German believers accused bishop Juliusz Bursche of Polonizing the church, which faced the danger of a split along national lines.
An important moment for the Evangelical-Augsburg church was the issuing of a presidential decree in 1936 which established the nature of the relationship between the church and the state and the former’s internal structure. The decree affirmed the territorial division of the church into ten dioceses with a total of 117 parishes; the church in Poland suffered during and after World War II. The ranks of pastors and other church leadership diminished due to persecution and death; the majority of ethnic Germans moved west from 1944 onwards. During the early postwar years, a number of church properties were taken over for other purposes, the connections of Protestant Lutheranism to the German cultural sphere made authorities and Polish locals inimical towards the remaining Lutherans; the Evangelical Church of Augsburg Confession in Poland has reshaped itself into an active body. On 12 October 2008, Polish president Lech Kaczyński—himself of the Catholic faith—visited the Lutheran Protestant Jesus Church in Cieszyn, becoming the first President of Poland to visit a Protestant place of worship.
The church's six dioceses form a wide swath from north to south down the middle of Poland—from Warmia-Masuria and Gdańsk in the north, near the Baltic, to the region west and southwest of Kraków in the south, toward the Czech Republic border. Direct descendants of Reformation forebears live around Upper Silesia; that is where most Polish Lutherans can be found, with c. 47,000 of the church's followers living in Silesian Voivodeship. The 2011 census data points to a uneven distribution of the Polish Lutheran population across the country scarce in the eastern provinces; the church has 133 parishes, 186 churches and 151 chapels, is served by 153 pastors and other church workers. Many pastors serve multiple preaching points and are challenged by diverse demands as well as the need for innovation in a changing society; the congregations are self-governing, each has its own parish council. As of 2017, there were 61,270 adherent faithful in the church. Though numbers of church members are lower than they were in the past, the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession still remains the largest Protestant body in Poland.
As a Lutheran church in a country, nearly 90 percent Roman Catholic, the church faces challenges in upholding a Protestant education at various levels, whether in Sunday schools, catechetical instruction, or in connection with the public schools, where Catholic religious education is part of the curriculum. The main priorities of the church are in deaconic work among single and disabled persons; the senior ordained member of the denomination is called the Bishop of the Church. The office is filled by election, the Bishop of the Church serves for ten years, he is based at the Church headquarters in Warsaw. The Church's official website describes the role of the Bishop of the Church as: "His service is to minister the Word of God and the Sacraments, he guards the whole Church, so that God’s Word is proclaimed faithfully and clearly. The Bishop of the Church is the “Pastor of the pastors”." The office is held by Bishop Jerzy Samiec. Under the Bishop of the Church there are four authoritative bodies.
The House of Bishops consists of the Bishop of the Church