Participating Churches and Organizations
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria has around 2.37 million congregation members (as at 31.12.2017) in 1,537 church parishes. As a church, it wishes to maintain a presence right at the heart of the public realm and in people’s lives. From Aschaffenburg to Lindau and Neu-Ulm to Freyung and Waldkirchen, church officers and volunteers alike breathe life into the church with their commitment, creativity, spirituality and community spirit. The church is very keen to foster relations with Lutheran churches across Europe and around the world, and actively seeks dialogue with other Christian churches and confessions.
Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg – Silesian Upper Lusatia
The Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg – Silesian Upper Lusatia (ECBU) is one of the 20 regional member churches of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). Its headquarters are in Berlin and, like all regional churches, it is a corporate body under public law. Of the approx. 6.2 million inhabitants in its territory, 940,000 belong to this Evangelical Church, which is divided into 26 church circuits and 1,247 parishes (as at Dec. 2018).
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Slovenia
Primož Trubar ignited the spark of Reformation in Slovenia during the 16th century. This bestowed Slovenians with a Church of God in their own language, the first printed books, a translation of the entire Bible, a written language, the first schools open to boys and girls, and the first Slovenian church constitution. The Protestant Church in Slovenia remains true to the Reformatory principle to this day. In meeting the challenges that prevail in modern-day society, it endeavours to convey the message of the Gospel in contemporary, understandable language without allowing the core principle of “Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus” to fall by the wayside.
Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania (Transylvanian Saxony)
The Evangelical Church A.C. in Romania is a small Protestant church set in Orthodox surroundings that has – just about – completed the painful transition from Transylvanian Saxony’s popular church to an open Protestant church in united Europe. In the process, it has discovered that life does not stem from large numbers of members, but rather from the willingness to take on tasks in society. In other words, decreasing in size is not a disaster! Nowadays, it focuses on proclamation, culture, education, welfare and nurturing the many networks in which it is embedded.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Romania
In the Principality of Transylvania, Reformation teachings already started to shape everyday life in Hungary and Transylvanian Saxony from the 16th century onwards. To start with, both nations were gathered together under Lutheran doctrine in one church, but then in 1886 the “Evangelical Hungarian Church Circuit of Brașov” declared its independence and joined the Evangelical Church Circuit “On the Tisza”. Following the Treaty of Trianon (1920), Transylvania became part of the new Romania, which meant restructuring the church. Since 1926, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Romania has enjoyed independence and equal status with other churches. Today, it has about 30,000 members organised in three circuits (Brașov, Cluj-Napoca and Nădlac) and 39 parishes with 118 diaspora communities, served by 36 pastors.
We perform a wide range of services, according to the opportunities open to us, aimed at preserving the Hungarian-speaking Protestant church. Besides traditional events, the church organises programmes for children and young people, in particular.
Evangelical Church A.C. in Slovakia
The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession is Slovakia’s second-largest church. It has a total of 322 parishes, 14 seniorates and two districts – the Western District based in Zvolen and the Eastern District in Prešov. The head of the church is General Bishop and General Inspector Ján, assisted by the District Bishops and District Inspectors. In an increasingly overtly secular society, the church not only provides pastoral care but also fosters education by running nurseries, primary and secondary schools. The Evangelical Theological Faculty at Comenius University in Bratislava provides training for theologians.
Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia
The (predominantly Hungarian-speaking) Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia has around 100,000 parishioners (source: 2011 census), divided into 316 parishes in nine seniorates with some 380 preaching stations (37 of which speak Slovakian) served by 224 pastors, including 14 curates. The church is a member of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) and the Conference of European Churches, etc.
Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren
The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren was founded in December 1918, just a few weeks after the birth of the First Czechoslovak Republic, by uniting the Reformed and Lutheran Czech parishes in Bohemia and Moravia. The church chose its name to reflect the tradition of the Hussite Church and the Czech Brethren, which were not permitted in the Habsburg Empire even after the Patent of Toleration issued in 1781. The ECCB currently has around 75,000 members spread across some 250 parishes throughout the entire Republic. The church appoints men and women as pastors. Besides conducting worship in congregations, religious education and church schooling, the ECCB provides social services (diacony) and pastoral care in hospitals, the armed forces, prisons and refugee camps.
Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg
Almost two million Christians are members of the Lutheran-oriented Evangelical Church in Württemberg, forming some 1,300 parishes. It is the sixth-largest of the 20 member churches of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and has global ecumenical connections. Dr h. c. Frank Otfried July was ordained as the Bishop for this region in 2005. The almost 100 members of the regional synod, which is elected directly every six years, reflect the full breadth of the popular church’s forms of piety – from traditional Württemberg through to liberal strains. The church is led by the Evangelical Senior Council in Stuttgart. Some 2,000 pastors and 45,000 welfare workers serve this regional church. The motto for the Württemberg Regional Church is “The Word of God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland
It’s not easy to meet a Polish Lutheran face to face, so you are all the more warmly invited to embark upon this expedition. There are 62,000 Lutherans at the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland – spread throughout the whole country, but the stronghold being in Silesia. The church’s six dioceses and 133 parishes are served by 153 clerics and numerous volunteers. We maintain democratic structures and leadership, involving members in the church’s internal decisions at all levels. As an empathetic church, we perform charitable and pastoral work for wider society. We attach great importance to education, partnerships and peaceful coexistence. We are keen to explore what it means for the present-day church to follow Jesus.
Protestant Lutheran (A.C.) Church in Austria
The history of the Protestant Church in Austria dates back to the 16th century. Large parts of the country were Protestant at the time of the Reformation. The Catholic Counter-Reformation during the Baroque era repressed the Protestant Church considerably. It was only with the Patent of Toleration issued by Emperor Josef II in 1781 that parishes were able to reconvene (subject to restrictions), putting an end to decades of “clandestine Protestantism”. The Protestant Church in Austria was awarded completely equal status by the Protestants Act in 1961.
Nowadays, the Protestant Church A.C. has 191 parishes and approximately 280.000 members.
Protestant Reformed (H.C.) Church in Austria
The classification “Protestant H.C.” (in reference to the 2nd Helvetic Confession by Heinrich Bullinger, Zurich, 1566) dates back to the Patent of Toleration in 1781 and the Protestant Patent in 1861. The Protestant Church H.C. in Austria is organised along presbyterial-synodal lines. This means it is organised from the bottom up, from the individual parishes (parish council and presbytery) through to the legislative body (synod). The church emphasises the autonomy of the parishes and the lay contingent of their churches and leading bodies. It has nine parishes with 11 appointed pastors and a membership numbering approximately 13,000 parishioners.
United Methodist Church in Austria
The United Methodist Church in Austria is the smallest Austrian member church of the CPCE. After almost 150 years in existence, we still courageously look to the future today. Our congregations are places where people are invited to interpret their lives alongside others in the light of God’s story. Encouraged by God’s love, we work together with others towards fulfilling God’s dream of a renewed and just world. This manifests itself in no small part in our dedicated welfare work, which forges special relations with our Protestant sister churches.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy was founded shortly after the Second World War, in October 1949 – relatively late compared to the founding communities, all of which have different roots and histories. Nowadays, the ELCI is a lively bilingual church in which the religious and cultural roots (German or otherwise) live and thrive in everyday Italian life. It actively participates in social discourse and is heavily involved in refugee aid. Its 15 parishes are spread from north to south, from Bolzano to Sicily, across the entire peninsula.
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony
The Christian faith is lived out in manifold ways in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony parishes throughout Saxony. One facet is celebrating worship in God’s honour. We cultivate the rich Lutheran liturgy in our own special way and preserve the tradition of church music. Carollers, church choirs and trombonists add a special flair to worship, celebrations and concerts. The Christmas traditions in Germany’s Erzgebirge have made Saxony famous all over the world. We perform the educational mission of the church in Protestant childcare centres and schools. We work in the name of justice, peace and the integrity of creation for one world. Our welfare efforts provide individual care. This is how we fulfil our duty to proclaiming the Gospel.
Czechoslovak Hussite Church
The Czechoslovak Hussite Church is one of the Christian churches to be found in the Czech Republic (and in Slovakia, too), whose teachings stem from the Bible and the Christian tradition. It ascribes to the early Christian, Cyril & Methodius and Reformatory tradition. The church was founded on 8 January 1920 as a result of modernist efforts. Its liturgy, which was named after the first Patriarch, Dr Karel Farský, forms the heart of church life. The church recognises seven sacraments. Both men and women (since 1947) can become clerics.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary is the third-largest of the country’s three historical churches. It consists of three church districts and has many parishes with minority or diasporic status. Hence, besides Hungarian, worship is frequently also conducted in German or Slovakian. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary proclaims the Gospel in deeds. It offers companionship to people also beyond its church walls in terms of welfare work, education and upbringing, mission and parish work.
Catholic Church of Styria – Diocese of Seckau
The Diocese of Graz-Seckau is served by 388 parish priests. Its parishes encompass some 1,240,214 inhabitants, of whom 805,382 are Catholics. The Archdiocese of Salzburg founded the Diocese of Seckau in Upper Styria in 1218, and the Bishop has resided in the regional capital city of Graz since 1786. The boundaries of the diocese currently correlate almost exactly with the province of Styria (covering 16,386 km²). In allegiance to Jesus Christ, as a church we are there for the people – however they might be, live, love, mourn, fear and hope nowadays. We want to help those who have fallen adrift from the sunny side of life. We want to give our church a Styrian and at the same time cosmopolitan face. We want to be courageous in passing on the “joy of the Gospel”. We want to do everything to ensure as many people as possible find peace and a home. We derive responsibility for our environment and fellow humans from our faith. In all that we do, we place particular emphasis on social and economic justice, sustainable use of resources, refugees, integration, protecting life, supporting all different kinds of families, and education and culture.
Silesian Evangelical Church of Augsburg Confession
The Silesian Evangelical Church of Augsburg Confession works geographically, especially in Teschner Silesia in the Moravian-Silesian region, i.e. in the northeastern corner of the Czech Republic, on the border to Poland and Slovakia. In particular, it unites believers of Czech and Polish nationality, and services take place in most congregations in both languages.
Community of Protestant Churches in Europe: "Reconciled Diversity"
The CPCE church community (Community of Protestant Churches in Europe) comprises 94 member churches from all over Europe with Lutheran, Reformed, United and Methodist traditions, as well as the pre-Reformation churches from the Czech Republic and Italy.
The CPCE represents approximately 50 million people and has its roots in the Leuenberg Agreement, which has established binding church fellowship among the member churches since 1973 and speaks theologically responsible about the common core of our church fellowship: the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Community of Protestant Churches in Europe sees itself as a community of many different churches, which celebrate worship together, think together theologically, act together in solidarity.
Evangelical Academy Vienna
The Evangelical Academy Vienna is an institution of general adult education, a place for critical dialogue and a platform for topics of the evangelical future of the church.
Political responsibility - a central task of church and civil society: Politics alone will not shape social change, distribution and participation. Therefore, political responsibility is a central task of church and civil society. One of the core competencies that the Evangelical Academy brings to the table is to analyze controversial social and political transformation processes, to process them with experts and to initiate discourses about them. As a “hinge” between church and society, it works on the exchange and mediation between church and non-church people and initiative groups. This cooperation serves to create and promote ecumenical, interfaith and civil society networks. The academy achieves this from a Protestant-ecumenical perspective and an emancipatory understanding of education.