Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad

Church family:Lutheran churches
Based in:Germany
Present in:

About membership

Statistics of church membership, number of churches, congregations, pastors, etc. are those given by the churches and organizations, unless otherwise indicated. WCC member churches have various ways of defining their membership: state churches in which virtually every citizen is baptized and thus counted as a member, churches which include in their membership persons who are baptized but not actively participating, churches in which only adult baptized or communicant members are counted, etc. No attempt has been made to classify the membership figures in such categories, because agreed upon indicators to so do not exist.

Member of:
 WCC (1971) 
Associate member of:
Periodicals:Ceîa Biedrs, yearly almanach, Baznìcas Gada-grâmata (both in Latvian)

This church is the former Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia in Exile which established its headquarters in Germany after the occupation of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union in the first years of World War II. The members of the church, about 120,000 at the time, scattered throughout Europe, North and South America, and Australia. The office of the archbishop moved from Germany to the USA, from there to Canada and again back to Germany in 1994. The church is much smaller now but its congregations are still spread widely over 15 countries, with the main concentrations in Canada, the USA and Australia. The archbishop is assisted by an 18-member church council which has executive powers

During the years of exile the church made a new translation of the Bible in Latvian. It has produced a new hymnal and many theological books. It established a mission in Chennai, India. After the political changes in Eastern Europe the name of the church was changed to Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad, to signify that it is seeking to meet the realities and challenges of a trans-regional church in a long-term perspective. The church is in close relationships and cooperation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia.

Last updated:01/01/06