German Churches in East and West will Reunite

On November 9, the national West German EKD (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland) synod in Lübeck-Travemünde formally agreed upon a time plan for church reunification.  Thanks to Western insistence, representatives of the East German "Federation of Evangelical Churches" agreed to hold a working conference together with the West German EKD in February.  This conference had originally been scheduled for next May.  At that time, the East German Federation will be dissolved and de facto reunification take place.  The first all-German synod is now scheduled for May.  This all-German synod will then formally sanction the precise form and means of church reunification.


It already appears clear that the future EKD will no longer be understood as a "federation" of Lutheran, United and Reformed provincial churches; it will instead be reclassified as a "fellowship."  The EKD consists presently of 17 provincial churches; the East German Federation has eight.  


East German leaders remain concerned that the unique character of their churches will be swallowed by the larger and wealthier Western churches.  Mecklenburg's Bishop Christoph Stier stated in Lübeck:  "We have been freed from captivity, but we are not free to construct our paths for the future.  Construction plans for church and society are already complete.  The Federal Republic and the EKD are regarded as the proper mold for everything." 


Bill Yoder

Berlin, November 12, 1990


Written for “The Lutheran” in Chicago, 219 words