Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia
|Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia|
Symbol of Lutheranism
|Leader||Rev. Dr. Shekutaamba Vaino Vaino Nambala|
|Branched from||Evangelical Lutheran Ovambo-Kavango Church|
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) is a Lutheran denomination based in Namibia. It has a total membership of over 772,398, mainly in Northern Namibia. Formerly known as the Evangelical Lutheran Ovambo-Kavango Church, it played a significant role in opposition to Apartheid in Namibia and was part of the Namibian independence struggle.
Other Lutheran churches in Namibia are the southern based Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia and the German-speaking Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (GELK).
The current presiding bishop is Dr. Shekutaamba V. V. Nambala.
The church developed out of the work of the Finnish Missionary Society that began in 1870 among the Ovambo and Kavango people in the northern area of what became German South-West Africa. In 1954, an independent church known as the Evangelical Lutheran Ovambo-Kavango Church (ELOC) was established with Birger Eriksson as its first president.
The first Namibian bishop of ELOC, Leonard Auala, played a notable role in the struggle for Namibia's independence. 1971 an open letter was jointly written with Moderator Paulus Gowaseb of the Rhenish Mission's United Evangelical Lutheran Church in South-West Africa (later known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia) to the Prime Minister of South Africa, B.J. Vorster declared their church's opposition to the continued rule of South Africa and the acceptance of the recommendation by the International Court of Justice for the withdrawal of South Africa's mandate and a transition period towards independence.
Auala's successor, Kleopas Dumeni, also played an important role in highlighting the plight of Namibians under South African rule. Bishop Dumeni suffered personal losses in the struggle including the death of his 18-year-old daughter in a bomb blast in 1988.
In 2007, ELCIN together with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia and the German-speaking Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (GELK) formed the United Church Council: Namibia Evangelical Lutheran Churches, with the ultimate aim of becoming one national Lutheran church.
In 1992, the church was divided into two dioceses, the Eastern Diocese and the Western Diocese, each led by its own bishop. One of the bishops is elected as the Presiding Bishop of the whole ELCIN.
Presidents, Bishops and Presiding Bishops
|1954||1958||Birger Eriksson||Moderator of ELOC|
|1958||1960||Alpo Hukka||Moderator of ELOC|
|1960||1963||Leonard Auala||Moderator of ELOC|
|1963||1978||Bishop of ELOC|
|1978||1984||Kleopas Dumeni||Bishop of ELOC|
|1984||1996||Bishop of ELCIN|
|1996||2000||Presiding Bishop of ELCIN|
|2000||2004||Apollos Kaulinge||Presiding Bishop of ELCIN, Consecrated Bishop of the Western Diocese in 1996|
|2004||2012||Tomas Shivute||Presiding Bishop of ELCIN, Consecrated Bishop of the Western Diocese in 2000|
|2012||present||Shekutaamba Vaino Vaino Nambala||Presiding Bishop of ELCIN, Consecrated Bishop of the Western Diocese in 2012|
|2012||present||Josaphat Shanghala||Bishop of the ELCIN Western Diocese|
|2014||present||Veikko Munyika||Bishop of the ELCIN Western Diocese|
ELCIN participates actively in ecumenical work through its affiliation with:
- Lutheran World Federation
- United Church Council: Namibia Evangelical Lutheran Churches
- Council of Churches in Namibia
- World Council of Churches
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia World Council of Churches, January 2006
- "1952-1954". Chronology of Namibian History. Namibia Library of Dr. Klaus Dierks. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- Dugard, John (1973). "The South West Africa/Namibia Dispute: Documents and Scholarly Writings on the Controversy Between South Africa and The United Nations". Perspectives on Southern Africa. University of California Press (9).
- "Bishop Kleopas Dumeni: 'Namibian blacks worse off than those South Africa'". The Afro-American. 4 April 1987. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- "Dumeni's Daughter Among Dozens Killed in Namibia Bomb Blast" (PDF). Dateline: Namibia. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 1988. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- Peltola, Matti (1958). Sata vuotta suomalaista lähetystyötä 1859–1959. II: Suomen Lähetysseuran Afrikan työn historia. [A hundred years of Finnish missionary work 1859–1959. II: The history of the Finnish Missionary Society in Africa] (in Finnish). Helsinki: Suomen Lähetysseura (The Finnish Missionary Society). pp. 242–243.