Churches in Communion

A journey shared by 148 churches in 99 countries

LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden, the LWF has 148 member churches in 99 countries around the world, representing more than 77.8 million Christians.

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is a communion of churches. That means that we

  • confess the triune God,
  • agree in the proclamation of the Word of God, and
  • are united in pulpit and altar fellowship.

In recent years, the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in 2017 has significantly shaped our journey and witness. The theme “Liberated by God’s Grace” and the three sub-themes “Salvation - not for sale,” “Human beings - not for sale,” and “Creation - not for sale” have molded the focus of our programmatic engagement.

Following the Reformation anniversary, we engaged in a process to determine the self-understanding of the Lutheran Communion. This process shows what it means to be a church communion from a Lutheran perspective and how the communion lives not only for itself but to serve and witness in the world.

We continue to grow together as a communion of churches with increased interaction and cooperation at a regional and global level.

Our journey as a communion of churches takes place within a global context that is constantly evolving. Therefore, awareness and analysis of trends that shape the world today are considered in our engagement as a communion of churches.

The LWF promotes relationship-building in the communion of churches, nurtures Lutheran identities in diverse contexts, and encourages mutual learning and support among members.

In the “House of prayer” in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, the old German Bible from 1821 still lies on the altar today. Photo: LWF/A. Weyermüller

The LWF promotes relationship-building in the communion of churches, nurtures Lutheran identities in diverse contexts, and encourages mutual learning and support among members.