Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELC-PNG) is the larger of the two Lutheran churches in Papua New Guinea . It has around 1.2 million members (as of 2016), making it the second largest church in the country after the Roman Catholic Church.

History of the church

It emerged in 1956 from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of New Guinea (ELCONG). In 1976, a year after the country gained independence, it became fully independent and took its current name. The seeds for the foundation of today's independent church were planted by the Neuendettelsauer Missionswerk of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria. On July 12, 1886, the first Bavarian missionary , Johann Flierl , set foot in New Guinea in Finschhafen. In 1973 the church received Zurewe Zurenuo, the first local bishop.

Building the Church

The Church has its main office in Lae , the capital of Morobe Province, and runs three pastoral seminars , two Tok Pisin- speaking and one English- speaking. It is divided into 16 districts. Several hospitals, such as the Braun Memorial Hospital in Finschhafen and the Gaubin Hospital on the island of Karkar , and various training centers are maintained. Worship languages are English, Tok Pisin, or the local languages. When Tok Pisin was not as widespread as it is today, the languages Bel ( Madang Province ), Kate and Yabem (both Morobe Province) were used as church and mission languages.

The ELC-PNG has been a member of the Lutheran World Federation since 1976 and of the World Council of Churches since 1990 .

Heads of the church

  1. Dr. John Kuder , 1956–1972
  2. Sir Zurewec Zurenuoc , 1973–1981
  3. Sir Getake Gam , 1982-1997
  4. Dr. Wesley Kigasung , 1998-2008
  5. Bp. Giegere Wenge, 2010–2016
  6. Bp. Jack Urame, 2016 -


Another Lutheran church exists in the highlands, the Lutheran Gutnius Church . In addition, there are efforts to split off an independent Lutheran Melpa Church in the Western Highlands Province from the ELC-PNG. De facto, this already manages itself. Dealing with a charismatic renewal movement supported by younger people ( Renewal, Revival ) is also an issue.


  • Jürgen Stadler: Christian Keyßer's missionary practice in New Guinea 1899–1920. First steps towards becoming a local church. Erlangen- Nürnberg 2004 edition afem mission academics 21 publishing house for theology and religious studies VTR, ISBN 3-937965-31-9
  • Herwig Wagner, Hermann Reiner (ed.): The Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea. The First Hundred Years 1886-1986 , second printing, Lutheran Publishing House: Adelaide (Australia) 1987, ISBN 0-85910-382-X
  • Rufus Pech: The Acts of the Apostles in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands , in: Brian Schwarz (Ed.): An Introduction to Ministry in Melanesia (= Point Series No. 7). The Melanesian Institute: Goroka, PNG 1985, 17-71.
  • Gernot Fugmann: The Birth of an indigenous church: letters, reports and documents of Lutheran Christians of Papua New Guinea , Point series, no.10, Melanesian Institute: Goroka, Papua New Guinea 1986.
  • Theodor Ahrens : Marginal notes on the early history of Lutheran missions in the eastern highlands of Papua New Guinea . In: Zeitschrift für Missionswissenschaft und Religionswissenschaft 73, 1989, pp. 284-302.
  • Herwig Wagner, Gernot Fugmann, Hermann Janssen (eds.): Papua New Guinea. History and church. An ecumenical manual. Verl. Of the Ev.Luth. Mission: Erlangen, 1989, ISBN 3-87214-193-7
  • Paul Steffen: Mission Beginning in New Guinea. The beginnings of the Rhenish, Neuendettelsauer and Steyler missionary work in New Guinea (= Studia Instituti Missiologici SVD - 61) Steyler Verlag, Nettetal 1995, ISBN 3-8050-0351-X .
  • Heinrich Zahn: Mission and Music: Jabem Traditional Music and the Development of Lutheran Hymnody , translated by Philip W. Holzknecht, Edited by Don Niles, Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies, Boroko, Port Moresby (PNG) 1996, 492 pp., ISBN 9980-68-032-6 .
  • Traugott Farnbacher: Responsible for the community: Beginnings, developments and perspectives of the community and offices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea , LIT Publisher: Munster - Hamburg - London 1998, 500 pp., ISBN 3-8258-3848-X .
  • Ian Breward: A History of the Churches in Australasia , (The Oxford History of Christian Churches), Oxford University Press, Oxford 2001, Reprinted 2008, ISBN 978-0-19-927592-2 .
  • Rufus Pech: German Evangelical Missions in German New Guinea 1886–1921. In: HJ Hiery (Ed.): The German South Sea. A manual. 2nd improved and enlarged edition 2002, Schöningh: Paderborn 2001, 343–383, ISBN 3-506-73912-3 , 384–416.

Web links


  1. 2010 World Lutheran Membership Details; Lutheran World Information 1/2011 ( Memento from September 26, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 199 kB)