Evangelical Church in Germany
- The Evangelical Church in Germany, by far the largest Protestant church in the country, embodies the legacy of Martin Luther, tracing its roots to the very beginning of the Reformation in 1517.Most of the early German Protestants attended one of a large number of state churches that were gradually brought together as Germany united. Eventually, 24 Protestant state churches came into being, one for each of the 24 states that currently constitute the Federal German Republic. The orientation was primarily Lutheran, with some admixture of Reformed ideas that came into Germany along with supporters of John Calvin of Geneva.In 1613, the ruler of Prussia adopted the Reformed faith, and a number Reformed congregations were organized, some of them made up of French Protestants fleeing persecution. In 1817, the Prussian king forced a merger of the Reformed and Lutheran churches into what became known as the Evangelical Church. In the state of Lippe, the Reformed church became the dominant body.In 1918, SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE was proclaimed, and authority over the established churches passed from political rulers to synods in each church. All 24 autonomous churches, the majority of them Lutheran and a minority Reformed, adopted new constitutions. They also continued to receive financial support from the government. Four years later, they banded together into the German Evangelical Church Federation. The preexisting German Evangelical Lutheran Conference continued to manage relationships with other Lutheran churches around the world.One force uniting the German churches was the missionary work performed by several agencies that arose in the 19th century. Among the most productive were the Leipzig, Gossmer, and North German missionary societies, the Rhenish Mission, and the Bethel Mission. In 1971, the latter two merged to form the United Evangelical Mission-Community of Churches on Three Continents.The rise of Nazism in the 1930s split the leadership between those more or less supportive of the government and the Confessing Church that opposed Nazism. Church leaders who supported the government worked to create a united German Evangelical Church. World War II left the German church in disarray. The surviving leadership of the Confessing Church, most notably Pastor Martin Niemoller, emerged to lead in the formation of a reorganized Evangelical Church in Germany. Within that church, the Lutheran majority formed a fellowship, the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany.When Germany divided into two hostile states in the 1940s, both the Evangelical Church and the Lutheran fellowship split along national boundaries. These two factions were reunited following the country's unification in 1990.Today, the Evangelical Church in Germany exists as a federation of the 24 autonomous churches, each of which has considerable latitude in doctrine, administration, and local programming. The national church carries out a variety of functions, especially the representation of the churches within various ecumenical bodies such as the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.The Evangelical Church in Germany has approximately 27 million members. Its member churches are the parents of a number of German Lutheran, Reformed, and Evangelical (united Lutheran/Reformed) churches around the world. Among these are the United Church of Christ (USA), which includes within it the former Evangelical and Reformed Church.Further reading:■ E. Theodore Bachmann and Mercia Brenne Bachmann, Lutheran Churches in the World: A Handbook (Minneapolis, Minn.: Augsburg Press, 1989)■ Jean-Jacques Bauswein and Lukas Vischer, eds., The Reformed Family Worldwide: A Survey of Reformed Churches, Theological Schools, and International Organizations (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 1999).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.
Look at other dictionaries:
Evangelical Church in Germany — Logo of the Evangelical Church in Germany. Classification Protestant Orientation Lutheranism Unified Reformed Polity … Wikipedia
Evangelical Church in Germany, The — ▪ church, Germany German Die Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD) federation of Lutheran, Reformed, and United (a combination of Lutheran and Reformed) territorial churches in Germany. Organized in 1948 after the difficult years of… … Universalium
Evangelical Church — • Almost from the beginning the new Evangelical Church was split, first into two communions, the Lutheran and the Reformed, then into a multitude of sects Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Evangelical Church Evangeli … Catholic encyclopedia
Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia — Evangelical Church in Berlin Brandenburg Silesian Upper Lusatia ( de. Evangelische Kirche Berlin Brandenburg schlesische Oberlausitz) is a Protestant church in the German states of Brandenburg, Berlin and a part of Saxony. The seat of the church… … Wikipedia
Evangelical Church in the Rhineland — is a united Protestant church in parts of the German states of North Rhine Westphalia, Rhineland Palatinate, Saarland and Hesse (Wetzlar). This is actually the area covered by the former Rhine Province until 1920. It is the most important… … Wikipedia
Evangelical Church of the Palatinate — is a Protestant church in parts of the German states of Rhineland Palatinate and Saarland. The seat of the church is in Speyer.It is a full member of the Evangelical Church in Germany EKD. The current president of the church is Eberhard Cherdron … Wikipedia
Evangelical Church of the Church Province of Saxony — The Evangelical Church of the Church Province of Saxony is the most important Protestant denomination in the German state of Saxony Anhalt. It s a united Protestant denomination, thus combining Lutheran and Reformed traditions. The seat of the… … Wikipedia
Evangelical Church of Bremen — The Evangelical Church of Bremen is the most important protestant denomination in the German state of Bremen. The seat of the church is in Bremen.It is a full member of the Evangelical Church in Germany EKD, and is a united Church combining… … Wikipedia
Evangelical Church — The term Evangelical Church may refer specifically to:* Evangelical Church in Germany largest Protestant denomination in Germany; * Evangelical Lutheran Church in America largest Lutheran denomination in the USA; * Evangelical Lutheran Church in… … Wikipedia
Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau — The Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau (EKHN) is a protestant, liberal church in the German states of Hesse and Rhineland Palatinate. There is no bishop and therefore no cathedral. One of its most prominent churches is Katharinenkirche in… … Wikipedia