Pomeranian Evangelical Church

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Map of the Pomeranian Evangelical Church
Basic data
Area : 8,686 km²
Leading clergyman: Bishop
Hans-Jürgen Abromeit
Membership: UEK , Lutheran World Federation
Church districts : 4th
Parishes : 240
Parishioners: 94,119 (2010)
Share of the
total population:
Official Website: http://www.kirche-mv.de/pommern.html

The Pomeranian Evangelical Church ( PEK ), based in Greifswald, was one of the member churches ( regional churches ) of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) from 1945/47 to 1969 and from 1991 . In 2010, the church had about 94,000 church members in 240 parishes . Like all regional churches, it was a corporation under public law . At Pentecost 2012 it was absorbed into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany ("Northern Church") . This is where the Pomeranian Evangelical Church District consists .

The Pomeranian Evangelical Church was a united regional church ; however, no Reformed church congregations belonged to it. It belonged to the Union of Evangelical Churches (UEK), which emerged in 2003 from the Evangelical Church of the Union (EKU) . In addition, the PEK was a member of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe and the Lutheran World Federation .

The main or bishop's church of the Pomeranian Evangelical Church was St. Nikolai Cathedral in Greifswald .

Together with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg, the regional church maintained an Evangelical Academy in Rostock .

Territory of the regional church

The area of ​​the Pomeranian Evangelical Church included, within the exact historical limits, the part of Western Pomerania , which remained with Germany, of the former Prussian province of Pomerania , which today forms the eastern part of the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania . There were also several parishes of the former Pasewalk parish in the state of Brandenburg , which historically also belonged to Pomerania. The previous area of ​​the regional church has formed the new Pomeranian Evangelical Church District since May 2012 .


The Pomeranian state parliament in Treptow decided in 1534 at the instigation of the dukes Barnim IX. ( Pomerania-Stettin ) and Philip I ( Pommern-Wolgast ) against the resistance of some prelates and nobles the introduction of the Lutheran doctrine ( Reformation ). Johannes Bugenhagen published the first Lutheran church ordinance for the country in 1535 . This is considered the birth of the Pomeranian country churches, for Pomerania-Stettin, Pomerania-Wolgast and pommersch- landständische Camminer pen area around Kolberg were each in their own State churches.

The Catholic Bishop of Cammin , Erasmus von Manteuffel-Arnhausen , was only able to prevent the spread of the Reformation in his diocese in his monastery area, where he was not only a shepherd, but also sovereign. In the rest of the diocesan area, the sovereigns, the dukes of Pomerania-Stettin, Pommern-Wolgast, both from 1535 and the Electors of Brandenburg (for the Neumark ) from 1539, pushed through the Reformation. In 1535 spiritual leaders of the Lutheran state churches were appointed for both partial duchies, and from 1563 they were called general superintendents. They sat in Greifswald for Pomerania-Wolgast, in Stettin for western Pomerania-Stettin, and, but subordinate to Stettin, in Stolp with subsidiary responsibility in eastern Pomerania-Stettin. After Manteuffel-Arnhausen's death in 1544, a Lutheran state church was established in the abbey area under the new, now Lutheran bishop of Cammin, Bartholomäus Swawe . In 1563 all three Pomeranian state churches set up consistories , the Kolberger Konsistorium for the monastery area, the Greifswalder for Pomerania-Wolgast and the Stettiner for Pomerania-Stettin.

Between 1648 and 1815 Kurbrandenburg (later known as part of the Kingdom of Prussia ) acquired the monastery area and successively the parts of the former ducal Pomerania. For the Kurbrandenburg parts of Pomerania, the state church of the completely taken over Camminer monastery area was combined with that in the only partially taken over ducal-Pomeranian areas. The Kolberg consistory became the administrative authority of this state church with territorially expanded jurisdiction as the Pomeranian and Camminian spiritual consistory . The separate Lauenburg consistory existed for the Lauenburg and Bütow lands , which were acquired as a Polish fiefdom in 1657/58 , until Poland ceded the lands directly to Brandenburg-Prussia in 1773. After the transition to the West Prussian Consistorial District , the lands became part of the Köslin Consistorial District in Pomerania in 1804. After the Hohenzollern were able to incorporate the city of Stettin into their domain in 1720, the Pomeranian and Camminian religious consistory moved to Stettin in 1738. From 1750 it was under the new Lutheran High Consistory for the whole of Brandenburg-Prussia . In 1808 the upper consistory was dissolved and all church matters were handed over to the newly formed cultural department of the Prussian Ministry of the Interior. After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the State of Prussia formed its provinces and so the Province of Pomerania was created and with it its own church administration authority, the Consistory of the Province of Pomerania , in Stettin. Until 1849, the Greifswald consistory, founded in 1556, with responsibility in New Western Pomerania, also existed .

The head of the church was the respective monarch of (Brandenburg-) Prussia as summus episcopus . In 1817 King Friedrich Wilhelm III. to a union of the Lutheran and Reformed churches. The few Pomeranian Reformed communities arose primarily through immigration of Huguenots in the 17th and 18th centuries and were all in what is now the Polish part of Pomerania. Thus a unified church emerged within the state of Prussia, the Evangelical Church in the Royal Prussian Lands , which changed its name several times in the following decades. Within this regional church, Pomerania formed one of the nine ecclesiastical provinces , along with Mark Brandenburg (with Berlin), East Prussia , Posen , Rhine Province (from 1899 with Hohenzollern), Saxony , Silesia , Westphalia and West Prussia . In each province there was a provincial consistory (sometimes also additional subsidiary ones), which was responsible for the administration of the ecclesiastical province.

In 1850, the Evangelical Upper Church Council (EOK) was established in Berlin as the highest church authority for the regional church. In 1866 Prussia annexed several states. However, the acquired areas kept their own church administrations and were not subordinated to the EOK in Berlin. In contrast to the Protestant regional churches in the provinces annexed in 1866, the old Prussian regional church called itself from 1875 "Evangelical regional church of the older provinces of Prussia".

After the First World War the King of Prussia had to abdicate (elimination of the sovereign church regiment ). Therefore, the Old Prussian regional church gave itself a new church order in 1922 and the name Evangelical Church of the Old Prussian Union (APU or EKapU) ; the church provinces were also democratized. The parishes in the areas ceded to Belgium (four parishes of the Rhenish ecclesiastical province), Poland (predominantly ecclesiastical province of Posen, ecclesiastical province of West Prussia to a large extent, 22 parishes of the ecclesiastical province of Silesia) and Czechoslovakia (a municipality of the ecclesiastical province of Silesia) left the regional church. The parishes of the League of Nations mandates Free City of Danzig, Memel and Saar area remained members of the regional church.

With the new church order in 1922, the competences of the EOK were curtailed. The church leadership, which previously lay with the Prussian monarch, was transferred to the "Church Senate", to which the EOK now worked. The Old Prussian General Synod elected its Preses and the Church Senate , with the latter presiding over it qua office. From 1922, the leadership of the church provinces lay with the provincial church councils. The consistories, now administrative organs of the ecclesiastical provinces, were headed by clerical general superintendents and legal consistorial presidents.

After the Second World War , the Oder-Neisse Line became Germany's eastern border. Unlike in 1918/20, however, the new demarcation resulted in the extensive expulsion of the local population. In the parishes in Western Pomerania, which remained with Germany, the number of members increased by 500,000 from 1945 to 1948 due to the admission of refugees and displaced persons. Most of the Protestant parishes in East Prussia (now part of the Republic of Poland or - as Kaliningrad Oblast  - part of Russia ) as well as in East Brandenburg , Western Pomerania and Silesia, the eastern parts of which are now part of Poland, perished with the expulsion of their community members who had not fled, and accordingly all higher-level church organizations such as church provinces, etc. The proportion of Protestant church members in the total population in Pomerania, east of the Oder, fell from more than 90 percent to below 5 percent within a few years. If congregations continued to exist in individual cases, they were incorporated into the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland .

The Provincial Consistory, largely unchanged in terms of personnel, was relocated from Stettin to Greifswald. Consistorial councilor Willy Woelke took the initiative and entrusted the superintendent of Greifswald, Karl von Scheven , "with the auxiliary performance of the spiritual report in the consistory", which the incumbent Consistorial President Paul-Gerhard Wahn confirmed on June 25, 1945. Since a synod had not yet been convened, the provisional provincial church leadership lacked legitimation. A small advisory board made up of laypeople and theologians, appointed in 1945, was intended to alleviate the lack of participation by synodians. The advisory council and consistory formed the new provincial church leadership with von Scheven as president, his new title from January 1946.

At the Pomeranian 20th Provincial Synod, which met from October 9th to 11th, 1946, the first after the war, the synods legitimized the new church leadership and decided to develop a new church order that would reconstitute the old Prussian church province of Pomerania as an independent regional church. The synodals also applied to the Old Prussian Evangelical Upper Church Council, the newly elected superintendent general of the church province of Scheven, to attach the title of bishop. The EOK complied with the application at the end of 1946. In 1947, the former church province of Pomerania joined the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). On June 2, 1950, the 21st Provincial Synod adopted the new church ordinance, which had meanwhile been drawn up, whereby this Provincial Synod was reconstituted as the first regional synod and the Church Province of Pomerania as the Pomeranian Evangelical Church.

By making its church provinces independent, the Church of the Old Prussian Union had de facto changed from a regional church into an association of independent regional churches, which, like its member churches, remained a member of the EKD. At the old Prussian general synods from December 11th to 13th and February 20th, 1951 in Berlin, the synods adapted the church order to the changed realities. With effect from August 1, 1951, the synodals passed the new order of the Evangelical Church of the Old Prussian Union in February in Berlin . The new church order replaced the EOK with the church chancellery, the tasks of the church senate, which had been inactive since 1933, were taken over by the new council of the Evangelical Church of the Old Prussian Union.

On April 5, 1952, Karl Steinhoff , Interior Minister of the GDR , demanded that the part of the name "Prussian" be deleted from the name of the church association. The EOK rejected this and stated that the term "Old Prussian Union", which has been used in the name since 1922, denotes the community of members of the Lutheran and Reformed denominations in what was then Prussia, which had arisen since 1817, but did not denote that the church was dissolved by the Allies in 1947 declared state, especially since the Evangelical Church of the Old Prussian Union had not been a state church since 1919 and also included parishes outside the borders of Prussia. The name of the church association remained unchanged. On July 2, 1952, Heinrich Held , who was elected for the first time on May 5, was the President of the Council of the Evangelical Church of the Old Prussian Union, and made his inaugural visit to Otto Grotewohl .

Nevertheless, the GDR government continued to exert pressure on the name issue. The Synod finally gave in and the Old Prussian General Synod decided on December 12, 1953 to delete the part of the name “Old Prussian”, but at the same time clarified their view that “Old Prussian Union” denoted a community of confessions that the Synod would not give up . The same general synod also decided that other regional churches, including those that did not emerge from church provinces of the APU, could join the church association. From 1954 the name of the church association was " Evangelical Church of the Union " (EKU) instead of "Evangelical Church of the Old Prussian Union" (APU or EKapU). Initially, however, only the Pomeranian Evangelical Church and the other five regional churches that had emerged from the old Prussian church provinces continued to form the members of the EKU. In 1960 the Landeskirche Anhalt joined the EKU as the seventh member church.

In 1968 the Pomeranian Evangelical Church had to change its name to Evangelical Church in Greifswald because the GDR government saw the term “Pomeranian” as a term that was too reminiscent of the past. The same happened to the Evangelical Church of Silesia because of the name “Silesia”. Other regional churches (Anhalt, Berlin-Brandenburg, Sachsen ecclesiastical province and regional church, Thuringia) in the GDR were allowed to retain their names with reference to the also dissolved states - which makes it clear what it was really about: debates in connection with the cession of the eastern territories and flight and expulsion of its residents was suppressed by the GDR government. There was a forced silence on the subject; so terms that ran counter to this policy had to give way.

After the fall of the Wall in 1989, the synod in Züssow decided at the beginning of 1990 at the regional synod unanimously to re-adopt its old name for the regional church.

After the number of church members had decreased significantly, in 2003 the synod followed the recommendation of an expert opinion by the Evangelical Church in Germany to aim for a merger or close federation with a neighboring church and thus reduce management and administrative costs. After discussions with the Protestant churches in Mecklenburg and Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia , the Pomeranian Evangelical Church finally decided to merge with Mecklenburg and Northern Elbe.

On February 5, 2009 the merger agreement was signed, which provided for the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany on May 27, 2012, on March 28, 2009 the synod in Züssow with 44 members out of 58 voted for the merger.

Head of the regional church

At the head of the Pomeranian Evangelical Church was the bishop (until 1947 the general superintendent ), the spiritual director of the church. He was elected by the regional synod and was chairman of the church leadership also elected by the synod.

Superintendent Generals and Bishops

Spiritual leaders of the Evangelical Church in Prussia were general superintendents , of whom there were a total of twelve in all of Prussia. The office was introduced shortly after the Reformation , later dissolved and only reintroduced in 1830. After the elimination of the sovereign church regiment in 1918, you were in charge of the church leadership of the provincial church.

In the Pomeranian ecclesiastical province there was initially one, and since the 1920s there was two general superintendent. A bishop has led the church since 1947.

During the Reformation there were initially several (general) superintendent's offices, which then converged in the rear-Pomeranian general superintendent's office. (See also: List of General Superintendents and Bishops of Pomerania )

Bishops since 1947:

Provincial or regional synod

From 1875 the eastern church provinces of the Prussian regional church also had provincial synods, which helped shape church life. After the sovereign church regiment had ended in 1918 , the synods became the highest decision-making bodies. When the ecclesiastical provinces became independent regional churches, the provincial synods were renamed regional synods. Its members, the synodals, were elected by the church districts for a period of six years . The task of the synod was similar to that of political parliaments. The chair of the synod led or the Church President .

President of the Synod

1869 -0000: Franz Hermann Lengerich, Superintendent (extraordinary general synod)

Administration of the regional church

Consistory and administrative hierarchy

Evangelical Consistory Greifswald.

The consistory in Greifswald ran the day-to-day business, it was responsible for administrative matters and, on behalf of the church leadership, supervised the communities, church districts and church officials. Head of the consistory was the president of the consistory (1990–2004: Hans-Martin Harder , from 2004: Peter von Loeper ).

The bishop was chairman of the church government ("government" of the church). In addition to the bishop, this included the provosts, the preses of the synod, eight other members elected by the synod, the president of the consistory and a department head of the consistory.

In the administrative hierarchy, the regional church was structured as follows from bottom to top:

At the base standing parishes as public bodies with elected parish councils, the "parish council". The members of this body were called "elders".

Several parishes together formed a church district (in general administration comparable to a district ), headed by a superintendent. The church districts were also corporations under public law and had the district synod, whose members were appointed by the respective parish councils, and a district church council.

The church districts together formed the regional church (in general administration comparable to the federal state ). There was no middle level ( comparable to an administrative district in general administration ) in the Pomeranian Evangelical Church.

The church districts

Up to 1945 the ecclesiastical province of Pomerania was divided into 52 church districts, which had been assigned to two districts since the beginning of the 20th century . At the head of the parish was a superintendent, the district was headed by the general superintendent:

  • District West:

Altentreptow, Anklam, Barth, Bergen, Demmin, Franzburg, Gartz adOder, Garz (Rügen), Gollnow, Greifenhagen, Greifswald-Land (seat: Weitenhagen), Greifswald-Stadt, Grimmen, Kolbatz (seat: Neumark / Pommern), Loitz, Pasewalk, Penkun, Pyritz, Stralsund, Ueckermünde, Usedom, Werben, Wolgast, Wollin

  • District East:

Belgard, Bublitz, Bütow, Cammin, Daber, Dramburg, Freienwalde, Greifenberg, Jakobshagen, Köslin, Kolberg, Labes, Lauenburg, Naugard, Neustettin, Ratzebuhr, Regenwalde, Rügenwalde, Rummelsburg, Schivelbein, Schlawe, Stargard, Stettin-Land (seat: Podejuch), Stettin-Stadt, Stolp-Altstadt, Stolp-Stadt, Tempelburg, Treptow a. Rega

In 1941 church districts from the church provinces of Brandenburg and Posen-West Prussia were added. Pomerania took over the church districts Deutsch-Krone, Flatow, Schlochau and Schneidemühl from the church province Grenzmark Posen-West Prussia (dissolved on April 1, 1941), and from Brandenburg the church districts Arnswalde, Friedeberg and Woldenberg.

All church districts of the Sprengels Ost, including the new ones added in 1941, as well as the church districts Gollnow, Greifenhagen, Kolbatz, Pyritz, Werben and Wollin and part of the Gartz a. d. Or the Sprengels West lie on the territory of Poland after the Second World War .

The remaining part of the Pomeranian Evangelical Church comprised a total of 18, later 15 church districts:

In 1972, the border across from the Berlin-Brandenburg regional church was changed, which means that Strasburg in the Uckermark region became part of the (present-day) Pomeranian Evangelical Church.

In the course of a structural change in 1997, the number of church districts was reduced to four superintendent's offices, each with an administrative office:

The administrative offices were merged with the consistory in 2006.


The four church districts were 295 parishes divided.

Other facilities

Hymn books

The parishes of the Pomeranian Evangelical Church have mainly used the following hymn books in recent decades:

  • Evangelical hymn book for the province of Pomerania. Edited on the basis of the resolutions of the Pomeranian Provincial Synod (1884-1893) with the approval of the church authorities, introduced in 1896/97.
  • Evangelical hymn book for Brandenburg and Pomerania. Introduced by resolutions of the provincial synods of the ecclesiastical province of Pomerania in 1925 and 1927 and Mark Brandenburg in 1927 and 1929 and after the emergency ordinance of the church senate of August 7, 1931, issued by the Brandenburg and Pomerania provincial church councils on the 1st of Advent 1931.
  • Evangelical church hymn book (EKG) - edition for the consistorial districts Berlin, Magdeburg, Greifswald and Görlitz and the Evang. Landeskirche Anhalts or issue for the Evang. Landeskirche Anhalt, Evang. Church Berlin-Brandenburg, Evang. Church of the Görlitz church area , Evang. Regional Church Greifswald, Evang. Church of the ecclesiastical province of Saxony . Introduced on the 1st of Advent 1953.
  • Evangelical hymn book - edition for the Evangelical Church of Anhalt, the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg, the Evangelical Church of Silesian Upper Lusatia, the Pomeranian Evangelical Church, the Evangelical Church of the ecclesiastical province of Saxony. Introduced on Pentecost, May 22, 1994.

See also


  • Working Group for Pomeranian Church History (Ed.): Atlas of the Pomeranian Church Province 1931 . Released according to the map of the ecclesiastical province of Pomerania drawn up by Hans Christel Glaeser. With an introduction by Norbert Buske . Thomas Helms Verlag, Schwerin 2005, ISBN 3-931185-93-1 .
  • Sebastian Dittmers: Origin of the North Church. Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany. Lutherische Verl.-Ges, Kiel 2015, ISBN 978-3-87503-181-2 .
  • Christoph Ehricht (Ed.): 487 years of jurisdiction, organization, management and administration of the Pomeranian Evangelical Church. On the history of the consistories. With contributions by Norbert Buske , Hans-Martin Harder and Michael Lissok as well as a preface by Bishop Hans-Jürgen Abromeit. Thomas Helms Verlag, Schwerin 2012, ISBN 978-3-940207-89-0 .
  • Werner Klän: The Protestant Church in Pomerania in republic and dictatorship. History and design of a Prussian church province 1914–1945 . Böhlau, Cologne 1995, ISBN 3-412-04195-5 .

Web links

Commons : Pomeranian Evangelical Church  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. a b 2010 World Lutheran Membership Details; Lutheran World Information 1/2011 ( Memento from September 26, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  2. § 7 Church district statutes of the Pomeranian Evangelical Church District (PDF)
  3. ^ Regional Church # overview
  4. The service district of the Szczecin General Superintendent, also referred to as the Upper Superintendent to differentiate it from the Stolper Superintendent, extended from Oder and Swine in the west to Grabow in the east, but without the monastery area.
  5. The Stolper Superintendent's service area existed from 1535 to 1604 and included Pomerania-Stettin east of the Grabow, but without the monastery area.
  6. Cf. Instruction, in front of the Lutheran Ober = Consistorium, established over all royal lands, de dato Berlin, October 4th. 1750 , printed in: Corpus Constitutionum Marchicarum, Oder Königl. Preussis. and Churfürstl. Brandenburgische in der Chur- and Marck Brandenburg, also incorporated Landen, published and issued regulations, Edicta, Mandata, Rescripta etc .: From the times of Frederick I Elector of Brandenburg, etc. bit under the government of Friderich Wilhelm, King in Prussia, etc. ad annum 1736. inclusive , IV. Continuatio, column 291ff.
  7. a b c d e f g SBZ manual: State administrations, parties, social organizations and their executives in the Soviet zone of occupation in Germany 1945–1949. Edited by Martin Broszat , with contributions by Hermann Weber and Gerhard Braas. Oldenbourg, Munich 1990, ISBN 3-486-55261-9 , p. 821.
  8. a b The minutes of the Church Conference on Eastern Europe 1945–1949 (= work on contemporary church history; Vol. A 9). Compiled by Carsten Nicolaisen . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2005, ISBN 3-525-55759-0 , footnote 5 on p. 138.
  9. ^ Wilhelm Hüffmeier: The Evangelical Church of the Union: A brief historical orientation. In: "... according to the great purposes of Christianity": The Evangelical Church of the Union from 1817 to 1992. A handout for the communities. Compiled by Wilhelm Hüffmeier for the church chancellery of the Evangelical Church of the Union (Ed.) On behalf of the Synod. Luther-Verlag, Bielefeld 1992, ISBN 3-7858-0346-X , pp. 13–27, here p. 24.
  10. Cf. Official Journal of the Evangelical Church in Germany, 1951, p. 153.
  11. a b Wilhelm Hüffmeier: The Evangelical Church of the Union: A Brief Historical Orientation. In: "... according to the great purposes of Christianity": The Evangelical Church of the Union from 1817 to 1992. A handout for the communities. Compiled by Wilhelm Hüffmeier for the church chancellery of the Evangelical Church of the Union (Ed.) On behalf of the Synod. Luther-Verlag, Bielefeld 1992, ISBN 3-7858-0346-X , pp. 13–28, here p. 14.
  12. ^ Wilhelm Hüffmeier: The Evangelical Church of the Union: A brief historical orientation. In: "... according to the great purposes of Christianity": The Evangelical Church of the Union from 1817 to 1992. A handout for the communities. Compiled by Wilhelm Hüffmeier for the church chancellery of the Evangelical Church of the Union (Ed.) On behalf of the Synod. Luther-Verlag, Bielefeld 1992, ISBN 3-7858-0346-X , pp. 13–28, here p. 13.
  13. Holger Kremser: The legal status of the Protestant churches in the GDR and the new unity of the EKD (Ius ecclesiasticum. Contributions to Protestant Church Law and State Church Law; Vol. 46). Mohr, Tübingen 1993, ISBN 3-16-146070-7 , p. 61.
  14. Sebastian Dittmers: Origin of the Northern Church Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany . Lutherische Verl.-Ges, Kiel 2015, ISBN 978-3-87503-181-2 , pp. 154-176 .
  15. ^ Ostsee-Zeitung , February 7, 2009
  16. Synods say “yes” to the common northern church. ( Memento from March 30, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) ndr.de, March 28, 2009
  17. Handbook of the German Protestant Churches 1918 to 1949: Organe - Ämter - Personen (=  work on contemporary church history, Series A, Sources, Vol. 20), Volume 2: Landes- und Provinzialkirchen. Edited by Karl-Heinz Fix, Carsten Nicolaisen and Ruth Pabst. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2017, ISBN 978-3-525-55794-5 , pp. 159, 413 ( reading sample ).
  18. [1] | Representation of the parish of Strasburg