Protestant Church in the Rhineland (German: Evangelische Kirche im Rheinland; EKiR) is a United Protestant church body 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 Prussian Rhine Province until 1920.
The seat of the church is in Düsseldorf. The church leader is not called a "bishop", but a praeses (German: Präses), and there is no cathedral. The Protestant Church in the Rhineland is a full member of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), and is a Prussian Union Church. The current praeses is Manfred Rekowski. The Evangelical Church in the Rhineland is one of 20 Lutheran, united, and Reformed churches of the EKD. As of December 2019, the church has 2,453,379 members in 809 parishes. The Protestant Church in the Rhineland is a member of the UEK and the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe and also the Reformed Alliance. In Bonn the church runs a conference venue called Evangelische Akademie Bonn-Bad Godesberg. It is a member of the Conference of Churches on the Rhine.
The theological teaching goes back on Martin Luther. The ordination of women is allowed. The blessing of same-sex unions has been allowed by the synod and depends on the local church administration (German: Presbyterium, English: presbytery)..
The Protestant Church in the Rhineland emerged on 12 November 1948, when the Ecclesiastical Province of the Rhineland within the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union gained independence as its own church body. The Protestants in Hohenzollern emerged 1950 to Württemberg, keeping the Old Prussian mass.
The legislative assembly of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland is the regional synod (Landessynode). The election of the synod is for four years. Since 1975 the synod meets annually in January in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler (before 1975 in Bad Godesberg). Its elected leader (praeses) is also leader of the church.
The legislative body, then called the provincial synod (Provinzialsynode), was already established when the Rhenish church still formed an ecclesiastical province of the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union. The then praesides were only speakers of the synod but not the leaders of the ecclesiastical province. Instead this function was with the general superintendents. Since the ecclesiastical province assumed its independence each praeses is speaker of the synod and leader of the church.