Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church
|Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church|
|Primate||Archbishop of Tallinn|
|Associations||Lutheran World Federation,
World Council of Churches,
Conference of European Churches,
Community of Protestant Churches in Europe
The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (Estonian: Eesti Evangeelne Luterlik Kirik, abbreviated EELK) is a Lutheran church in Estonia. EELC is member of the Lutheran World Federation and belongs to the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe. 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.
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 Church of Estonia is episcopal in polity, and is currently led by five bishops, including the archbishop who serves as the Primate. Following the retirement of Archbishop Andres Põder, the current Archbishop is the Most Revd Urmas Viilma, consecrated on 2 February 2015. 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
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