Gemeinde (plural: Gemeinden) in Germany or Austria is the smallest administrative division of local government having corporate status and powers of self-government. It is a German word for borough, commune, community, township or municipality. [1] A Gemeinde which shows certain aspects of urban life can be entitled by state government to lead the designation Stadt (town).

Gemeinde in the sense of the Amish way of life ruled by the Ordnung, it functions as a description for certain congregations often centering on a church and sharing some local social structures like church service.

Gemeinde also means, in theological usage, in German-speaking regions a local Christian or Jewish congregation, i. e. the members of a local church (Kirchengemeinde or Pfarrgemeinde) or a Synagogue (Jüdische Gemeinde) as a whole. It has no English equivalent except among Mormons, who call it a ward. It encompasses the meaning of parish assembly (as a group entity) but also the congregation as a koinonia (Greek) or fellowship of believers.

See also


  1. "Travlang's German-English On-line Dictionary" (result for "Gemeinde"), Travlang (, 2000, webpage: travlang-Gemeinde.
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