Independent Evangelical—Lutheran Church
Selbständige Evangelisch—Lutherische Kirche (SELK)
Independent Confessional Lutheran Churches developed in Germany, especially in Prussia, Saxony, Hannover, and Hesse, in the beginning of the 19th century. The main reason for this was the forced union between Lutheran and Reformed churches into an “evangelical” church. Mainly the ideas of the civil leaders were the reason for the enforcement of this union. These tendencies finally led to the “Evangelical Church in Germany” today, which is a union of Reformed and Lutheran churches with full altar and pulpit fellowship. Many Lutherans rejected what they considered to be the end of Lutheranism in Germany.
The main reason for their thoughts was the conviction that there cannot be different doctrines that exclude each other in one church body. The major example is the difference in the doctrine of the Sacrament of the Altar between Lutheran and Reformed theology. The confessional Lutherans were persecuted at this time by the state. Many of them were not allowed to have church services or get their children baptized or confirmed according to the liturgy of the Lutheran Church. In some areas of Germany, it took decades until the Confessional Lutherans were granted religious freedom.
In 1972, most of the Confessional Lutheran church bodies in Germany formed the SELK. In 1991, the Evangelisch—Lutherische (altlutherische) Kirche (Evangelical—Lutheran [Old-Lutheran] Church) in the former GDR joined the SELK (this wasn’t possible before). So now almost all of the Confessional Lutheran churches in Germany are joined together in the SELK.
|Selbständige Evangelisch—Lutherische Kirche
Baptized Members: 33,036
Communicant Members: 18,779
Active Pastors: 109
|Bishop: Rev. Hans-Jörg Voigt
- Lutherische Theologische Hochschule