|Lutheran World Federation|
|President||Musa Panti Filibus|
|General Secretary||Martin Junge|
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF; German: Lutherischer Weltbund) is a global communion of national and regional Lutheran denominations 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 89 countries representing over 74 million Lutherans. 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 is the LWF's humanitarian and development arm. It has programmes in 24 countries and is the UNHCR 9th largest implementing partner. The LWF is a member of ACT Alliance.
On 31 October 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. A similar event took place in Lund Cathedral at the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation when Pope Francis visited Scania, Sweden's southernmost province that originally was Danish.
119 of the 145 member churches (80%) ordain women as ministers.
The LWF was founded at Lund, Sweden, in 1947. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, it replaced the more informal Lutheran World Convention, which had been founded in 1924. The goal was to coordinate international activities of the many Lutheran churches, to provide a forum for discussions on theological and organizational issues, and to assist in philanthropy, missionary activity, and exchange of students and professors. A key leader was Executive Secretary Sylvester C. Michelfelder (1889-1951), representing the American Lutheran Church. He had been a leader in organizing $45 million in American help for the rebuilding of Protestant churches in Germany after 1945. By the time of his death in 1951, the federation represented 52 churches in 25 countries.
The 20 largest member churches are (with number of members in millions; 2016 statistics):
The President is the federation's chief official representative and spokesperson. He or she presides at meetings of the Assembly, Council and Meeting of Officers, and oversees the life and work of the federation in consultation with the General Secretary.
|1947-1952||Church of Sweden||Sweden|
|1952-1957||Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Hanover||Germany|
|3||Franklin Clark Fry
|4||Fredrik A. Schiotz
|1963-1970||American Lutheran Church||United States|
|1970-1977||Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland||Finland|
|1977-1984||Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania||Tanzania|
|1984-1987||Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Hungary||Hungary|
|1987-1990||Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria||Germany|
|1990-1997||Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil||Brazil|
|1997-2003||Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brunswick||Germany|
|2003-2010||Evangelical Lutheran Church in America||United States|
|2010-2017||Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land||Palestine|
|2017-present||The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria||Nigeria|
The Lutheran World Federation Council elects the General Secretary, who is appointed for a seven-year term. The person appointed is eligible for re-election. The General Secretary conducts the business of the federation assisted by the Communion Office Leadership Team, comprising department and unit heads appointed by the Council, and carries out the decisions of the Assembly and Council.
|5||Carl Henning Mau Jr.
Sorted by country in alphabetical order
Some member denominations have recognized same-gender unions through marriage, a blessing rite, or special prayers. These include the Church of Denmark, Church of Iceland, Church of Norway, Church of Sweden, Evangelical Church in Austria, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Chile, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Geneva, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy, a majority of the churches within the Evangelical Church in Germany, Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil, Evangelical Church of the River Plate, Protestant Church in the Netherlands, and the United Protestant Church of France.
On the other side, several churches, including the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, the Malagasy Lutheran Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lithuania, which recognize marriage as solely the union between a man and a woman, have broken ties with many of the churches supporting same-gender unions.