LWF

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is a global communion of national and regional Lutheran churches 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 145 member church bodies in 79 countries representing 70.3 million of the world's 73.9 million Lutherans. However, some Lutherans disagree with the way the Lutheran World Federation arrives at these numbers, because millions of them are actually non-Lutherans inside bodies that are mostly Reformed, but include some Lutherans as part of an absorption of a smaller Lutheran church body into a larger Protestant body. These larger Protestant bodies belong to the LWF on the basis of a Lutheran component rather than on the basis of being a Lutheran church body. 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 (DWS) is the LWF's humanitarian arm. It has programs in 35 countries. The LWF is a member of ACT Alliance.

On October 31, 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.

The largest member churches are (with number of members in millions; 2010 statistics):

  1. Church of Sweden (6.7)
  2. Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (5.6)
  3. Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (5.57)
  4. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (4.5)
  5. Church of Denmark (4.47)
  6. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (4.38)
  7. Protestant Christian Batak Church, North Sumatera Indonesia (4.17)
  8. Church of Norway (3.99)
  9. Malagasy Lutheran Church (3.0)
  10. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover, Germany (2.8)

Read more about LWFMembers, Presidents of LWF

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