Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brunswick

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brunswick (German: Evangelisch-Lutherische Landeskirche in Braunschweig) is a Lutheran church in the German states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.

The seat of the Landesbischof (bishop) is Wolfenbüttel. Its district as a Landeskirche covers the former Free State of Brunswick in the borders of 1945. The church has 370,010 members (as of 2013) in about 400 parishes.[1] It is a full member of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), and is based on the teachings brought forward by Martin Luther during the Reformation. It is also a member of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany, the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, the Lutheran World Federation, and the World Council of Churches. Leading bishop of the church is Dr. theol. Friedrich Weber (since 2002). The Church of Brunswick owns about 480 churches; the most famous of these is Brunswick Cathedral.


The Church of Brunswick originated as the state church (German: Landeskirche) of the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, where the Protestant Reformation was ultimately introduced in 1568. The ruling duke acted as bishop of the church. In 1704, Wolfenbüttel introduced religious tolerance, so that parishes not belonging to the state church could be founded. After the monarchy was abolished in 1918, the Church of Brunswick became an independent organization, but retained — like all former state churches — certain privileges. In 1922 the Brunswickian church counted 464,000 parishioners.[2]


Ordination of women and blessing of same-sex unions were allowed.[3]


The Evangelical-Lutheran Mission in Lower Saxony (ELM), which was founded in 1977 as a common organisation for the Evangelical Lutheran State Churches of Brunswick, Hanover and Schaumburg-Lippe, looks after relationships with the overseas partner churches of the Brunswick State Church. The headquarters of the ELM is in Hermannsburg in the Südheide. Since 2003 Pastor Martina Helmer-Pham Xuan has been the director of the mission.


  1. The Lutheran World Federation – 2013 Membership Figures Lutheran World
  2. Sebastian Müller-Rolli in collaboration with Reiner Anselm, Evangelische Schulpolitik in Deutschland 1918–1958: Dokumente und Darstellung, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1999, (=Eine Veröffentlichung des Comenius-Instituts Münster), p. 30. ISBN 3-525-61362-8.
  3. Protestant Lutheran State Church of Brunswick Archived August 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.

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