The oldest German congregation abroad in Europe: In 1571, King Johan III of Sweden granted "subjects building and living in the town of Stockholm who were born in Germany" the right to appoint a qualified pastor from Germany, to elect their own church council, and to keep any takings for the benefit of the congregation.
The most recent German congregation abroad in Europe: During Advent in 1993, the German-speaking Evangelical Lutheran Congregation was founded in Budapest. The congregation belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hungary. A pastor sent by the EKD in 1994 serves the congregation.
"The German congregation is where I am at home", says Mrs. M., a widow living in London who was married to an Englishman. "We want our children to be confirmed here", says Mr. Sch. who is working in Barcelona for a German company for three years. "It is here in this foreign environment that I have come to understand how important my faith and my religious tradition are to me", admits Mrs. B. who has been living in Athens for the past four years and is married to a Greek.
In Italy, German-speaking congregations joined to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy. And in Great Britain, over 20 congregations belong to the German-speaking Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Along with 50 individual congregations all over Europe, both of these church alliances have formal links with the EKD. They maintain close contact with the churches of their host countries and thus build bridges between the EKD and its sister churches in Europe.
German-speaking congregations in Europe