Evangelical Church of the Palatinate

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Evangelische Kirche der Pfalz
Evangelische Kirche der Pfalz Logo.svg
Type Landeskirche
Classification United protestant church
Director Kirchenpräsident Christian Schad
Associations Union Evangelischer Kirchen
Region 5.928 km² in Palatinate (in today's Rhineland-Palatinate, parts of Saarland)
Headquarters Speyer, Germany
Origin 1818; 1848
Branched from Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland
Members 574.570 (2010)
~ 38,2% of total population
Official website http://www.evpfalz.de/
Karte der Evangelischen Kirche der Pfalz

Evangelical Church of the Palatinate (German: Evangelische Kirche der Pfalz (Protestantische Landeskirche)) is a united Protestant church in parts of the German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. The seat of the church is in Speyer.

It is a full member of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). The current president of the church is Christian Schad. The Evangelical Church of the Palatinate is one of 22 Lutheran, united Protestant and Reformed churches of the EKD. As of January 2006, the regional church had 610,061 members in 431 parishes.

The Evangelical Church of the Palatinate is a member of the UEK and of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe. In Speyer the church has its own Evangelical academy. The principal church is the Gedächtniskirche in Speyer. Because the church has no bishop it is not a cathedral, though.


Since 1809 the Palatine Reformed and Lutheran congregations were subordinate to the Protestant church administration of the Kingdom of Bavaria, of which the then Governorate of the Palatinate formed a part. Following the parishioners' plesbiscite in 1817 all Palatine Lutheran and Reformed congregations merged into confessionally united Protestant congregations. In 1848 the Palatine Protestant congregations formed a regional church, then called Vereinigte protestantisch-evangelisch-christliche Kirche der Pfalz (Pfälzische Landeskirche) (i.e. United Protestant Evangelical Christian Church of the Palatinate [Palatine State Church]), independent of that regional church in the rest of Bavaria. In 1922 the United Church of the Palatinate counted 506,000 parishioners.[1]

The official Palatine church body became a destroyed church (German: zerstörte Kirche), since it was taken over by Nazi-submissive German Christians, who gained a majority in the synod by the unconstitutional election imposed by Adolf Hitler on 23 July 1933. Nazi opponents then formed the Confessing Church of the Palatinate. In 1976 the Palatine church renamed into Evangelische Kirche der Pfalz (Protestantische Landeskirche) (i.e. Evangelical Church of the Palatinate [Protestant State Church]). In 1941 the commander of the CdZ-Gebiet Lothringen subjected the Protestant congregations in that occupation zone of France to the jurisdiction of the United Church of the Palatinate.[2] In 1944 they returned to their previous umbrellas the Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine and the Protestant Church of Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine.

Elected leaders[edit]

Leading person is the "Kirchenpräsident" (Church President), until 1921 titled Konsistorialdirektor (consistorial director), which is elected from the synod for seven years.


  • Gesangbuch zum gottesdienstlichen Gebrauche für protestantisch-evangelische Christen, Speyer, 1823
  • Evangelisch-protestantisches Gesangbuch für Kirche und Haus, Speier
  • Gesangbuch für die vereinigte protestantisch-evangelische christliche Kirche der Pfalz, Speyer, 1861 ?
  • Evangelisches Kirchen-Gesangbuch - Edition for Vereinigte, protestantisch-evangelische, christliche Kirche der Pfalz, Speyer,
  • Evangelisches Gesangbuch, Edition for Evangelische Kirche der Pfalz (Protestantische Landeskirche), Speyer, 1994


  1. ^ Sebastian Müller-Rolli in collaboration with Reiner Anselm, Evangelische Schulpolitik in Deutschland 1918–1958: Dokumente und Darstellung, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1999, (=Eine Veröffentlichung des Comenius-Instituts Münster), p. 30. ISBN 3-525-61362-8.
  2. ^ Ernest Muller, "Maurer Charles", in: Dictionnaire du monde religieux dans la France contemporaine: 10 vols., Paris: Beauchesne, 1985-2001, vol. 2: 'L'Alsace' (1987), Jean-Marie Mayeur (ed.), pp. 285–287, here p. 287. ISBN 2-7010-1141-8.

External links[edit]