More than 73 million Lutherans worldwide

GENEVA – The total membership of Lutheran churches worldwide rose over the past year by 1,784,556 to just under 73.8 million (73,758,126), representing an increase of 2.5 percent according to statistics released by the Lutheran World Federation.

In 2008, all Lutheran churches worldwide counted some 72 million members, compared to 71.8 million in 2007. The number of Lutherans belonging to non-LWF Lutheran churches such as Lutheran Church–Canada, rose by 195,331 to reach 3,704,810, an increase of 5.6 percent. This increase is principally due to the inclusion of Lutheran churches worldwide that had not previously been taken into account. The survey identified an additional seven Lutheran churches in Africa and one in Europe.

Membership in churches belonging to the LWF in Africa over the past year rose by 1,233,413 or 7.1 percent to a total of 18,520,690. The membership of non-LWF Lutheran churches on the continent was 196,989, an increase of around 142,774 due to the inclusion of data from the seven churches.

In 2009, total membership in non-LWF Lutheran churches in North America rose by 5,963 or 0.2 percent to 2,953,059. Membership in LWF member churches fell by 95,007 or 1.95 percent to 4,784,089

A preliminary analysis of Lutheran Church–Canada’s 2009 statistics indicates a decline of about 1.5 percent since 2008. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada reported a decline of 8,354 or 5.2 percent, recording 152,788 members. Membership in the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad (Canada) remained unchanged at 8,000.

The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod reported 2.4 million members, an increase of 16,916 or 0.7 percent. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the LWF’s fourth largest member church, had 4,623,301 members last year, a decrease of 86,653 or 1.8 percent.

The total number of Lutherans in Asia rose by 200,955 in 2009 to 8,746,434, representing an increase of 2.35 percent. Lutheran churches in Asia that do not belong to the LWF reported 189,653 new members, corresponding to an increase of 6,732 or 3.68 percent.

based on a report from Lutheran World Federation

Posted By: Matthew Block
Posted On: June 18, 2010
Posted In: International News,

More Resources