Africa’s Lutheran churches saw their total membership increase over the past year by nearly two million, boosting the total number of members of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) worldwide to more than 68.3 million.
The Geneva-based federation says that Lutheran churches in Asia also registered an increase overall in the period, while slight decreases were again recorded in other world regions.
With an increase of 368,861 members, or 8.2 per cent, to 4.87 million, the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, the largest LWF member church in Africa, now becomes the second largest worldwide.
The largest LWF church is the Church of Sweden, which remained nearly unchanged over the course of 2007, with a slight drop of 0.03 per cent to reach 6,893,901 members. Still, Germany remains the country with largest overall Lutheran count at 12.63 million, but they belong to different churches, some of which are organized on a regional basis.