Evangelical Augsburg Church in Poland
The Evangelical Augsburg Church in Poland (Polish Kościół Ewangelicko-Augsburski w Polsce ) is an Evangelical Lutheran church based in Warsaw . It has around 61,000 members and is a member of the Lutheran World Federation , the Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe and the World Council of Churches and belongs to the Polish World Council . It was founded in 1945 as the successor to previous Evangelical Lutheran churches in Poland.
The name of the Polish Evangelical Augsburg Church refers to the " Confessio Augustana " written by Philipp Melanchthon for the Reichstag in Augsburg in 1530 , which together with Melanchthon's apology formulates the basis of Evangelical Lutheran doctrine.
The Evangelical Augsburg Church in Poland today has around 61,000 parish members, the majority of whom live in Teschen Silesia . 181 clergy look after 133 parishes, which are grouped into six dioceses .
The spiritual head of the church is the leading bishop of the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland. He is also the President of the Consistory. The incumbent is Jerzy Samiec . The bishopric is Warsaw (00-246 Warszawa, ul.Miodowa 21). The Trinity Church there (Kościół Św. Trójcy) is the main and episcopal church.
- 1849–1874: Adolf Theodor Julius Ludwig
- 1875–1895: Paul Woldemar von Everth (md honorary title "Bishop")
- 1895–1904: Karl Gustav Manitius
- 1904–1942: Juliusz Bursche
- 1945–1951: Jan Szeruda
- 1951-1959: Karol Kotula
- 1959–1975: Andrzej Wantuła
- 1975–1991: Janusz Narzyński
- 1991-2001: Jan Szarek
- 2001-2010: Janusz Jagucki
- 2010– Jerzy Samiec :
The first synod after the Second World War met in 1950. The synod, whose term of office is five years, decides on all important matters of the church, sets the goals and watches over orthodoxy. She is the author of all the laws and ordinances of the Church that regulate activities at the parish level, the diocesan level and the Church as a whole.
President of the Synod
- 1950-1952: Karol Kotula
- 1952–1957: Zygmunt Michelis
- 1957–1965: Woldemar Gastpary
- 1965–1975: Bishop Andrzej Wantuła
- 1975–1991: Bishop Janusz Narzyński
- 1991–1992: Bishop Jan Szarek
- 1992–1995: Manfred Uglorz
- 1995–1998: Andrzej Hauptman
- 1998-2002: Tadeusz Szurman
- 2002–2007: Jan Gross
- 2007-2009: Jerzy Samiec
- 2009– Waldemar Pytel :
The consistory exercises the highest administrative and administrative power. The seat is in Warsaw (00-246 Warszawa, ul.Miodowa 21). The Consistory is chaired by the Senior Bishop, while Adam Pastucha is currently Deputy Chairman .
Dioceses / Diocesan Bishops
In territorial and administrative terms, the Evangelical Augsburg Church is divided into six dioceses . Each diocese is represented by a diocesan synod with the diocesan bishop and the diocesan council. The diocesan bishop is the head of all clergy working in the diocese.
There are the following dioceses:
- Diocese of Breslau (Wrocław), Bishop Waldemar Pytel in Breslau
- Katowice Diocese , Bishop Marian Niemiec in Katowice
- Diocese of Mazury (Mazurska), Bishop Paweł home in Allenstein
- Diocese of Pomerania-Greater Poland (Pomorsko-Wielkopolska), Bishop Marcin Hintz in Sopot
- Diocese of Teschen (Cieszyn), Bishop Adrian Korczago in Bielitz
- Diocese of Warsaw (Warszawa), Bishop Jan Cieślar in Pabianice
The basic administrative unit of the Evangelical Augsburg Church is the parish (Polish: "parafia"), which as a local church has all the characteristics of the Church of Jesus Christ. She is the people of God and called to the testimony of faith. The spiritual leaders of the parishes are the pastors.
Protestant Polish-speaking congregations that belong to the Evangelical Augsburg Church in Poland also exist abroad. Services in Polish are held regularly in England, Germany, Canada and Ireland.
Facilities / services
- Diakonia of the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland: President is Bishop Ryszard Bogusz (Breslau); Wanda Falk is the general director.
- Deaconess mother house Eben-Ezer in Dzięgolów near Teschen
- Center for Mission and Evangelism of the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland
- Association of Protestant Entrepreneurs (Stowarzyszenie Przedsiębiorców Ewangelickich - SPE)
- Pastoral services of the Evangelical Augsburg Church in Poland:
- Pastoral care for young people (Pastor Grzegorz Giemza)
- Military chaplaincy (Military Bishop Ryszard Borski)
- Police chaplaincy (Pastor Tadeusz Konik)
- Pastoral care of letters (Pastor Marcin Brzóska)
- Prison chaplaincy (Pastor Piotr Janik)
- Academies in Warsaw (NN), Krakow (Pastor Krystian Borkowski) and Gleiwitz (Gliwice) (Pastor Bogusław Cichy)
- Augustana Publishing House in Bielsko-Biała
- Zwiastun Ewangelicki (Evangelischer Bote, bi-monthly magazine , has been published since 1863)
Focus of work
- Evangelism with individual events, church days, mission festivals and the central evangelism week in Dzięgielów (Diocese of Teschen)
- Religious instruction in schools or - during the holidays - in "Days of Good News" for children and summer camps for young people
- Care for single and sick people in nursing homes in Dzięgelów, Bielsko-Biała , Beuthen-Mechtal ( Bytom -Miechowice), Breslau ( Wrocław ), Konstancin, Węgrów, Zagórów, Nikolaiken ( Mikołajki ) and Ukta .
The Evangelical Augsburg Church in Poland has been a member of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) since 1947, a fellowship of around 150 Lutheran churches in more than 70 nations. She is also a member of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe and the World Council of Churches.
A pulpit and communion fellowship exists between the Evangelical Augsburg Church, the Evangelical Reformed Church and the Evangelical Methodist Church in Poland.
The Evangelical-Augsburg Church is also a member of the Polish Ecumenical Council , to which the minority churches of Poland joined together in 1946.
There is a cooperation with the Roman Catholic Church in Poland that is still worth expanding.
There are partnerships between Polish dioceses and German regional churches:
- Diocese of Breslau and Diocese of Pomerania-Greater Poland with the Pomeranian Evangelical Church
- Diocese of Breslau also with the Evangelical Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia
Lutheran congregations in the 16th century
The first Lutheran sermons were probably given in Gdansk as early as 1518 . In the following years Lutheran congregations were formed first in the cities of Royal Prussia (Danzig, Thorn , Elbing ) with a predominantly German population and in the larger cities of Greater Poland . It was worn by citizens, scholars, some nobles and parts of the common population. In the Duchy of Prussia , which was a feudal part of the Kingdom of Poland , Duke Albrecht was the first sovereign to introduce the Reformation in 1525. The Reformation was also introduced in 1534 in the Duchy of Pomerania , which was then part of the Roman-German Empire .
The Polish King Sigismund I tried to prevent Reformation activities in the Kingdom of Poland with several edicts. After 1548 the public activities for Protestants in Poland improved under the new King Sigismund II August . Other nobles converted to the Lutheran creed and even formed a majority in the Sejm with the Reformed (Calvinist) representatives .
Counter-Reformation in the 17th and 18th centuries
Since 1575, the kings again clearly took the Catholic side and pushed back the Protestant communities in Poland-Lithuania. In 1717 their religious practice was also restricted by law. In 1724 resisting Lutherans were executed in Thorn. In 1767, the Thorn Confederation sought to formulate the demands of the Lutheran and Reformed (Calvinist) nobles, which led to the Warsaw Treatise of 1768, which again guaranteed them extensive religious freedom. During this time the Trinity Church was built in Warsaw , where Lutheran services could take place again.
Lutheran congregations outside Poland-Lithuania
In the Treaty of 1707, the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I, as Duke of Silesia and King of Bohemia, allowed the construction of six churches, the so-called "Gnadenkirchen" in Freystadt (now Polish: Kożuchów ), Hirschberg ( Jelenia Góra ), Landeshut ( Kamienna Góra ), Militsch ( Milicz ), Sagan ( Żagań ) and Teschen ( Cieszyn ). Maria Theresa granted German-speaking Lutheran colonists settlement in the countries of East Galicia and in 1775 allowed them to celebrate Protestant services in their homes. Her son Joseph II issued a tolerance patent on October 3, 1781 , whereby Protestants and Catholics were treated on an equal footing and Protestant churches were given legal personality. A consistory for the parishes of the Augsburg and Helvetic Confessions was formed in Teschen , which was moved to Vienna in 1784.
Evangelical Church of Congress Poland 1845–1918
After the partitions, Poland was divided among Prussia, Russia and Austria. The influx of Protestant farmers and craftsmen from Europe, especially from Brandenburg, in the 19th century not only promoted industry and agriculture in Poland, but also Protestantism.
Evangelical Augsburg Church in Poland 1919–1939
With the establishment of the Second Polish Republic in 1919, the Evangelical-Augsburg Church was formed in Poland . Juliusz Bursche remained general superintendent. In 1920 the Evangelical Theological Faculty of the University of Warsaw was founded.
The Protestant parishes of the former ecclesiastical province of Posen , which until then had belonged to the Evangelical Church of the Old Prussian Union , became independent as the Uniate Evangelical Church in Poland (Kościół Ewangelicko-Unijny w Polsce) under General Superintendent Paul Blau . The Uniate Evangelical Church opposed the state-imposed attempt to subordinate the church to the Warsaw Consistory.
The old Prussian parishes in the Pomeranian Voivodeship joined this Uniate Evangelical Church in 1923 with 290,470 members (as of 1936) and based in Posen. Immigrant Polish-speaking Lutherans from parts of Poland that previously belonged to Russia and Austria founded individual Lutheran parishes in Bromberg , Dirschau , Gdynia , Graudenz , Posen and Thorn , which belonged to the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland and were friends with the old Lutherans who gave them hospitality granted in their churches.
The Old Lutherans, who formerly belonged to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Prussia , in the Polish territory assigned to the former provinces of Posen and West Prussia, around 4,000 mostly German-speaking members, formed the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Poland in 1920 (Kościół Ewangelicko-Luterański w Polsce; from 1926 Evangelical Lutheran Church in western Poland / Kościół Ewangelicko-Luterański w Polsce Zachodniej as opposed to the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland). German-speaking Lutheran Poles from Galicia who moved to Poznan and Pomerania and formerly Russian Poles often joined the Old Lutherans.
The 17 evangelical parishes of the ecclesiastical province of Silesia in East Upper Silesia , ceded in 1922 , formed the Uniate Evangelical Church in Polish Upper Silesia (Kościół Ewangelicko-Unijny na Polskim Górnym Śląsku) with around 30,000 members and its headquarters in Katowice . Previously to the Evangelical Church A. u. H. B. in Austria belonging parishes in Poland formed the Evangelical Church A. u. H. B. in Lesser Poland (Kościoł Ewangelicki Augsburskiego i Helweckiego Wyznania w Małopolsce) with three Lutheran regionally responsible and one Reformed seniorate and under a superintendent, most recently Theodor Zöckler , with a total of 33,000 members. In 1923, the mostly Polish-speaking Lutherans of the Kraków area and the Polish part of the Teschener Land converted to the Evangelical Augsburg Church in Poland.
In the 1920s, the Evangelical Augsburg Church in Poland had about 400,000 members, about 1.3 percent of the Polish population at the time.
In 1937 there were seven dioceses headed by the senior as spiritual leader:
In 1938 there were already 10 dioceses: Warsaw, Plock, Kalisch, Piotrkau, Lublin, Lodz, Wolyhnia, Vilnius, Silesia and Greater Poland. In 1939 the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland was divided into 118 parishes with 40 affiliated churches in what was then the national territory. There were 179 pastors in office, and as religion teachers a. a. 41 clergy were also active.
Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Poland 1939–1945
At the end of 1939, the Evangelical Augsburg Church in Poland was dissolved. About 30 percent of the evangelical clergy were killed in the concentration camps and prisons, including the long-time regional bishop Juliusz Bursche .
In the Reichsgau Wartheland , from 1941, churches were only allowed to exist as associations in the sense of legal entities under private law. It originated
- the Poznan Evangelical Church of German nationality in the Wartheland
- the Litzmannstädter Evangelical Church of German nationality in the Wartheland
- the Evangelical Lutheran Church of German nationality in the Wartheland
- and accordingly the Protestant Church of German nationality in the General Government .
Poles were not allowed to be members of a church in the Wartheland.
Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland 1945–1989
In 1945 the situation of the Evangelical-Augsburg Church changed. About 75 percent of Lutheran Christians left the country with the Germans; In the new areas of Silesia , Pomerania , East Prussia and East Brandenburg , the Protestant church buildings were mostly handed over to the Catholic Church.
Until the 1970s, the confession of Protestant denominations resulted in considerable social discrimination. Last but not least, this was one of the reasons for the ongoing resettlement, which meant a further reduction in the number of parishioners.
Evangelical Augsburg Church in Poland since 1990
The relationship between the state and the Evangelical Augsburg Church in Poland is regulated by a law that was passed by the Polish Parliament on May 13, 1994.
- Eduard Kneifel : History of the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland. (PDF; 17.3 MB), Niedermarschacht 1964, .
- Eduard Kneifel: The pastors of the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland. A biographical pastor's book (PDF; 32.6 MB). Eging 1968.
- Eduard Kneifel: The development and growth of the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland 1517-1939 . Vierkirchen, 1988. PDF, 14 MB ) (
- Kościół Ewangelicko-Augsburski w Polsce . (Polish / English)
- Jan Textor: Lutheran Parishes in Russian Poland . Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe
- Mały stystyczny rocznik Polski 2017 (Small Statistical Yearbook of Poland), p. 115 (data for 2015).
- Wolf-Dieter Hauschild: Textbook of Church and Dogma History. Volume 2. Gütersloh 1999, p. 254.
- Małgorzata Kośka: Akta Gmin Kościoła Ewangelickiego Augsburskiego i Helweckiego Wyznania 1786 - 1939. On: Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych w Warszawie (AGAD; Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw), accessed on April 2, 2012.
- Olgierd Kiec: kościoły ewangelickie w Wielkopolsce wobec kwestii narodowościowej w latach 1918 - 1939. Upowszechnianie Nauki Oswiata, Warsaw 1995, ISBN 83-85618-21-X (German: . The Protestant churches in the province Poznań 1918-1939 Translated by Siegfried Schmidt , in: Sources and studies. German Historical Institute Warsaw / Niemiecki Instytut Historyczny w Warszawie , Volume 8. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1998, ISBN 3-447-04030-0 , p. 85).
- Eduard Kneifel: History of the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland. Self-published, Niedermarschacht 1964, p. 17.
- Olgierd Kiec: kościoły ewangelickie w Wielkopolsce wobec kwestii narodowościowej w latach 1918 - 1939. Upowszechnianie Nauki Oswiata, Warsaw 1995, ISBN 83-85618-21-X (German: . The Protestant churches in the province Poznań 1918-1939 Translated by Siegfried Schmidt , in: Sources and Studies. German Historical Institute Warsaw / Niemiecki Instytut Historyczny w Warszawie, Volume 8. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1998, ISBN 3-447-04030-0 , p. 37).
- Olgierd Kiec: kościoły ewangelickie w Wielkopolsce wobec kwestii narodowościowej w latach 1918 - 1939. Upowszechnianie Nauki Oswiata, Warsaw 1995, ISBN 83-85618-21-X (German: . The Protestant churches in the province Poznań 1918-1939 Translated by Siegfried Schmidt , in: Sources and Studies. German Historical Institute Warsaw / Niemiecki Instytut Historyczny w Warszawie, Volume 8. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1998, ISBN 3-447-04030-0 , pp. 33f.).
- Olgierd Kiec: kościoły ewangelickie w Wielkopolsce wobec kwestii narodowościowej w latach 1918 - 1939. Upowszechnianie Nauki Oswiata, Warsaw 1995, ISBN 83-85618-21-X (German: . The Protestant churches in the province Poznań 1918-1939 Translated by Siegfried Schmidt , in: Sources and Studies. German Historical Institute Warsaw / Niemiecki Instytut Historyczny w Warszawie, Volume 8. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1998, ISBN 3-447-04030-0 , p. 21).
- Stefan Grelewski: wyznania protestanckie i sekty religijne w Polsce współczesnej . Lublin 1937, p. 226 (Polish, online ).
- Wykaz parafii i ks. pastorów Warszawskiego Konsystorza ewangelicko-augsburskiego . In: Przyjaciel Domu . 1938, p. 118-124 (Polish, online ).
- Paul Gürtler: National Socialism and Protestant Churches in the Warthegau . Goettingen 1958.
- Law of May 13, 1994 on the Relationship of the State to the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in the Republic of Poland