- Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church St Mary's Cathedral, Tallinn Classification Protestant Orientation Lutheranism Polity Episcopal Associations Lutheran World Federation,
World Council of Churches,
Conference of European Churches,
Geographical areas Estonia Origin 1949 Congregations 164 Members 160,000 (2005) Official website http://www.eelk.ee/
The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (Estonian: Eesti Evangeelne Luterlik Kirik) is a Lutheran church in Estonia. EELC is member of the Lutheran World Federation. It is also a member of the Porvoo Communion, putting it in full communion with the Church of England and other Anglican churches in Europe.
The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELC) was constituted in 1949, when the previous church hierarchy, Eesti Evangeeliumi Luteriusu Kirik, headed by bishop Johan Kõpp, had escaped to Sweden in 1944. When the Soviet Union invaded Estonia in 1940, most Christian organizations were dissolved, church property was confiscated, theologians were exiled to Siberia, and religious education programs were outlawed. World War II later brought devastation to many church buildings. It was not until 1988 that church activities were renewed when a movement for religious tolerance began in the Soviet Union.
Although women had studied theology at Tartu University in the 1920s and some had sought ordination as priests, it was not until 1967 that the first woman, Laine Villenthal, was ordained.
As of February 2009, the EELC reported approximately 160,000 baptized members and the EELC Abroad (based in Canada) reported approximately 8,000 baptized members. A previous figure broke down the EELC Abroad into 3,508 members with 12 clergy in the USA and 5,536 members with 11 clergy in Canada.
The current Archbishop is the Most Rev. Andres Põder. The Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad is the Most Rev. Dr Andres Taul, also a pastor of the Lutheran Church–Canada.
- The History Files Churches of Estonia
- Map of Church in Tallinn
- Map of Church in Tartu
Anglican churches Lutheran churches Observer churchesEvangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia · Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad · Lutheran Church in Great Britain
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