Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren
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The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (PCCB) (Czech: Českobratrská církev evangelická; ČCE) is the biggest Czech Protestant church and second biggest church in general. It was formed in 1918 in Czechoslovakia through the unification of the Protestant churches of the Lutheran and Reformed confessions. The ECCB has about 115,000 members in more than 260 local congregations, which are broken down into 14 seniorates (presbyteries) throughout the Czech Republic.
In 2009, it reported 115,000 baptized members. Numbers peaked in 1950 with 402,000 members; since Communist rule, the Czech Republic's censuses found 203,996 members in 1991, 117,212 in 2001, and 51,936 in 2011.
Reformation started already in the 15th century in the Czech lands. At that time, most of Czechs were Protestant (there were two Protestant churches - the Utraquist Hussite Church (1431–1620) and in the Unity of Brethren aka Moravian Church (1457–1620). However, any non-catholic churches were forbidden in 1620, after the harsh counter-reformation movement.
This ban was ended in 1781 by issuing the Edict of Toleration that permitted Lutheran and Reformed church in Austria-Hungary. Other churches were still forbidden and they were permitted after the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918.
The ECCB was established in 1918 by unification of all Lutheran and Reformed churches in Bohemia and Moravia intending to be an ensuer of the Unity of Brethren.
- ECCB website (Czech)(English)(German)
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