Community of Protestant Churches in Europe

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The Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE), English "Community of Protestant Churches in Europe" (CPCE) , French "Communion d'Eglises protestantes en Europe" (CEPE) , is a community of churches , almost all of which are Lutheran , Reformed and includes methodist churches of Europe .

In 1973, in the Leuenberg conference center near Basel , the member churches declared pulpit and communion fellowship with the Leuenberg Agreement and committed themselves to the common realization of witness and service. The name of the church community was therefore initially Leuenberg church community . At its meeting in late October / early November 2003, the community adopted its current name.


The Agreement of Reformation Churches in Europe, or Leuenberg Agreement for short, as the founding document of the Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe, was created after inter-church doctrinal discussions in 1973 in the Swiss conference center Leuenberg in Hölstein near Basel. It formulated the common understanding of the Gospel including the common understanding of baptism and the Lord's Supper and declared the mutual rejections of the Reformation as no longer applicable today. The signatory churches recognize each other's ordinations , declare pulpit and communion fellowship, and commit themselves to the realization of church fellowship in witness and service .

The Methodist Churches of Europe joined church fellowship in 1997 on the basis of a joint declaration .

Further cooperation

Theological and religious questions are dealt with in ongoing doctrinal discussions and Reformation positions on spiritual and social challenges are formulated. The results of these doctrinal conversations are published in the Leuenberg Texts book series and can be downloaded from the homepage of the Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe.

The Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe also maintains ecumenical contacts with the World Council of Churches , the Conference of European Churches , the Lutheran World Federation , the World Community of Reformed Churches , the Anglican Church Fellowship and the European Baptist Federation .

Since 2001, the Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe has tried to bundle the positions of its member churches on socio-political issues and to bring them into dialogue with the European institutions. This work takes place in close cooperation with the Conference of European Churches .

Since 2007 the seat of the CPCE has been the church office of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Austria in Vienna. Executive President since 2020 has been John Bradbury , General Secretary of the United Reformed Church ; Miriam Rose is co-president. The General Secretary has been Mario Fischer as the first full-time General Secretary since autumn 2018 .

In addition to the Leuenberger Texte book series , the CPKE published the CPKE focus three times a year as a member magazine from 2007 to 2017 .

Churches not acceded

The Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church and other Old Lutheran churches have not joined the Agreement of Reformation Churches in Europe, because they perceived the Lutheran doctrine of Holy Communion to be abandoned. Also, most evangelical free churches like the Adventists , Baptists and the resulting during the Reformation Mennonites , the baptism of faith practice, are not involved. However, between 2002 and 2004 several official consultations took place between the European Baptist Federation and the Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe. A cooperation agreement was signed in 2010. Corresponding consultations with Mennonites or Adventists did not take place.

Member churches

To date, 105 churches from practically every country in Europe belong to the fellowship, including:

A complete list can be found under List of CPCE member churches .

The following churches participate in the work of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe without having signed the Leuenberg Agreement

General assemblies

  • 1976: Sigtuna (Sweden): "Witness and service of Reformation churches in contemporary Europe"
  • 1981: Driebergen (Netherlands): "Agreement and church fellowship of Reformation churches in contemporary Europe"
  • 1987: Strasbourg (France): "Agreement and Ecumenism"
  • 1994: Vienna (Austria): "Growing Community in Witness and Service - Reformed Churches in Europe"
  • 2001: Belfast (United Kingdom): "Reconciled Diversity - The Mission of the Evangelical Churches in Europe"
  • 2006: Budapest (Hungary): "Shaping Community - Evangelical Profile in Europe"
  • 2012: Florence (Italy): "Free for the future - Protestant churches in Europe"
  • 2018: Basel (Switzerland): "Liberated - connected - committed"


The work was initially organized by a “coordination committee for the Leuenberg doctrinal talks”, which usually had a Lutheran and a Reformed chairman. He became an Executive Committee in 1994 and a Council in 2006. Since 1994, the executive committee or council has elected a multi-member presidium from among its members, which represents the community externally; one of the presidents acts as executive president.

The following people were responsible for the management:

Management was initially done in the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches; The first secretary was therefore Lukas Vischer . In 1978 a secretariat was set up (for a long time part-time). The following acted as secretaries (from 2006 as general secretaries):

Reformation cities of Europe

On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe launched the Reformation Cities of Europe initiative. It is a project that promotes the interplay of history, art, culture, spirituality and tourism in the cities of Europe that played a special role in the history of the Reformation. So far, 101 cities in 17 countries have joined this initiative.


  • Elisabeth Schieffer: From Schauenburg to Leuenberg. Origin and meaning of the Agreement of Reformation Churches in Europe (=  denominational and controversial theological studies. Volume 48). Verlag Bonifatius-Druckerei, Paderborn 1983, ISBN 3-87088-341-3 ; also: Freiburg (Breisgau), university, dissertation, 1982.
  • William G. Rusch, Daniel F. Martensen (Eds.): The Leuenberg Agreement and Lutheran Reformed Relationships. Evaluations by North American and European Theologians. Augsburg, Minneapolis, MN 1989, ISBN 0-8066-2436-1 .
  • Martin Friedrich : From Marburg to Leuenberg. The Lutheran-Reformed Contrast and Overcoming it. Spenner, Waltrop 1999, ISBN 3-933688-29-9 .
  • Wilhelm Hüffmeier , Udo Hahn (Ed.): Evangelical in Europe. 30 years of Leuenberg Church Fellowship = Being Protestant in Europe. Lembeck, Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-87476-442-7 (German, English, French).
  • André Birmelé : On the ecclesiology of the Leuenberg church community. In: Peter Walter , Klaus Krämer , George Augustin (eds.): Church in an ecumenical perspective. Cardinal Walter Kasper on his 70th birthday. Herder, Freiburg (Breisgau) a. a. 2003, ISBN 3-451-27435-3 , pp. 46-61.
  • Heinrich Leipold: Unit on the test bench. On the conflict of goals in ecumenical dialogue. A plea for the Leuenberg model of church fellowship. In: Friederike Schönemann, Thorsten Maaßen (Ed.): “Check everything, and keep what's good!” On the interplay between churches, religions and the secular world. Festschrift for Hans-Martin Barth on his 65th birthday. Lembeck, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-87476-466-4 , pp. 83-132.
  • Michael Weinrich u. a. (Ed.): Churches in Community - Church Community? Impulses from the Leuenberg Agreement for the ecumenical future. Neukirchener, Neukirchen-Vluyn 2014, ISBN 978-3-7887-2887-8 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Printed e.g. B. in Harding Meyer , Damaskinos Papandreou , Hans Jörg Urban , Lukas Vischer (eds.): Documents of growing agreement . All reports and consensus texts of interdenominational discussions at world level. Volume 3. 1990-2001. Paderborn / Leipzig 2003, ISBN 978-3-89710-256-9 , pp. 778-783.
  2. Press release of the Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe from June 26, 2020 .
  3. On the sacrament of the altar. Professor Werner Klän on the Lutheran understanding of the Lord's Supper and the differences to the Reformed perception, for example. In:, accessed on September 8, 2016 (Lutheran understanding of the Lord's Supper as opposed to the Reformed understanding of the Lord's Supper and the Leuenberg Agreement).
  4. ^ Website of the Reformation Cities of Europe. In: , (last) accessed on June 29, 2019.
  5. 1 Thess 5:23  LUT .