Malagasy Lutheran Church
|Malagasy Lutheran Church|
Logo of the FLM
|Leader||Rev. Dr. David Rakotonirina|
|Associations||LWF, CCCM, AACC, WCC|
The Malagasy Lutheran Church (in Malagasy it is known as FLM: Fiangonana Loterana Malagasy) is a Christian denomination in Madagascar and France, established in 1950 by the unification of 1,800 Lutheran congregations in central and southern Madagascar. The oldest of these congregations was founded in the early 19th Century.
With almost 3 million baptized members, it is the third largest church in Madagascar and is one of the fastest growing Lutheran churches in the world. The growth is due in part to an indigenous revival movement, known as Fifohazana, that has worked through the church since the early twentieth century. Most of the church leaders are members of the Fifohazana movement.
The FLM also boasts a health care program of nine hospitals and thirteen dispensaries. SALFA, as it is known, is a community-based primary health project with special initiatives that cover child survival, family planning, and HIV/AIDS prevention.
The Malagasy Lutheran Church is subdivided into 24 synods, each with a president elected by local congregation representatives. The governing body of the church is elected every four years by a national gathering of over 300 representatives from the 24 synods. The governing body consists of the offices of President, Secretary General, Vice President, Vice Secretary General, and Treasurer. The presiding Bishop is Rev. Dr. David Rakotonirina.
Norwegian missionaries of the Norwegian Missionary Society began to work in the south of Madagascar in 1866. Then the Mission of the American Lutheran Church began work in the south-west in 1888. The church became autonomous as one body in 1950 under the name Malagasy Lutheran Church (or FLM : Fiangonana Loterana Malagasy).
At its founding the Malagasy Lutheran Church had around 18,000 members; today it has approximately 3 million and is the 9th largest church in the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). It was the first former "mission field" church to be accepted into the LWF.
The church joined the World Council of Churches in 1966. It is also a member of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Malagasy Council of Christian Churches (FFKM) and the Malagasy Council of Protestant Churches (FFPM).
- "Malagasy Lutheran Church". lutheranworld.org. Lutheran World Federation. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- Collver, Al (2016-09-14). "Malagasy Lutheran Church elects new Presiding Bishop". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 2017-03-15.