Worldwide Evangelical Alliance

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Worldwide Evangelical Alliance
founding 1846 as 'Evangelical Alliance'
Seat New York City , Geneva and Bonn
motto “One Body, One Voice” John 17:23
main emphasis Evangelical Christians
method Umbrella organization
Action space Worldwide
Chair Efraim Tendero (General Secretary) until March 2021
Thomas Schirrmacher , successor
Members 600 million

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA; English World Evangelical Alliance ) in 1846 in the premises of the Masonic Lodge of London , United Kingdom founded and is a worldwide evangelical oriented network of 129 national and regional evangelical alliances. According to its own information, the WEA represents over 600 million people worldwide. The three headquarters of the WEA have been New York , Geneva and Bonn since 2010 . The aim of their work is "to promote the cooperation and the testimony of evangelical Christians worldwide".


The World Evangelical Alliance includes organizations, associations and churches whose identity and calling are rooted in Christianity. There are four types of membership:

  • seven regional and 129 national evangelical alliances
  • global partner organizations that contribute to the goals of the wind turbine in a specific area
  • Church networks and denominations whose constitutions coincide with the “basis of faith” and the goals of the WEA and which are members of a national evangelical alliance
  • Associate members: independent organizations and churches with an international focus, such as Campus Crusade for Christ International , Every Home for Christ , Open Doors , Operation Mobilization .

The regional and local alliances are independent organizations, each with its own membership structure. There are national alliances, such as the German Evangelical Alliance , which only know the membership of individuals. Others, such as the National Association of Evangelicals in the United States or the Swiss Evangelical Alliance, offer membership for organizations, individuals, local churches, and national denominations.

It is headed by the Secretary General and, since March 2015, the Filipino theologian Efraim Tendero . The German theologian Thomas Schirrmacher will succeed him in office on March 1, 2021 . Before that, he had chaired the WEA Theological Commission for ten years. Standing commissions for theology , communication, religious freedom , mission and aid overseas cover the work in individual areas.


Historical background

The Evangelical Alliance emerged on the basis of the revivals in Great Britain initiated by John Wesley and George Whitefield in the 1730s, which had captured and linked many evangelical denominations. The opposition to the Oxford movement in the Anglican Church from 1830 and against the perceived strengthening of Catholicism in the 30s and 40s of the 19th century as well as the split in the Church of Scotland in 1843 are considered to be the causes for the emergence of a movement whose goal is the Unification of the evangelical Christians was. The growing social injustice, which was mainly reflected in poor working conditions and child labor , also belonged to a historical context in which the desire for a unified and influential Church grew.

Founded in 1846 and developed until 1951

Thomas Chalmers

Various Scottish Presbyterians - especially Thomas Chalmers , Robert Balmers and John Henderson - were key figures on the way to the establishment of the Evangelical Alliance. They organized a preparatory meeting that took place in Liverpool from October 1st to 3rd, 1845 and attended by 216 representatives from twenty different denominations of Great Britain. With the support of i.a. John Angell James ( Congregationalist ), Edward Bickersteth (Anglican), Jabez Bunting (Methodist), Edward Steane (Baptist) the participation of a wide range of Evangelical Christians from England was assured. The actual founding conference of the Evangelical Alliance was then held from August 19 to September 1, 1846 in the Freemasons' Hall in London . 921 Christians from twelve nations and 52 Reformation churches took part in it. 84 percent of the delegates came from Great Britain, 8 percent from the USA and 7 percent from Europe and the rest of the world, whereby the delegates were not seen as official representatives of their churches but rather as private individuals.

The result of the founding meeting was the creation of a loose international network of autonomous national and regional alliances. The motto of the newly founded alliance of evangelical Christians was Unum Corpus Sumus in Christ , "We are one body in Christ". From the beginning, the Evangelical Alliance saw itself as a union of individual Christians who only appear in their own names and not as official representatives of their respective churches. Already at the founding assembly, it was decided to hold regular worldwide conferences, to found a magazine ( Evangelical Christendom first appeared in the following year) and to set up a worldwide week of prayer . From the beginning, the commitment to people persecuted for the sake of their faith was one of the declared goals.

For the work of the Evangelical Alliance, the founding assembly agreed on a nine-point “ Basis of Faith ”. It summarized essential shared beliefs. This included a commitment to the Bible as the inspired word of God, the knowledge that man is lost without God and salvation through Jesus Christ requires, the belief that the sinner by faith alone justification is the need of sanctification , the commitment to the priesthood of all believers and the expectation of the return of Christ . There was no agreement on a common rejection of slavery . There were even attempts by the British to exclude slaveholders from membership, but this ultimately failed. With Mollison M. Clark , an African American pastor from New York was also accepted as a member.

As a result of this founding meeting for an international evangelical alliance, branch organizations emerged in many countries and regions that were loosely connected to one another. The British World's Evangelical Alliance with 3,000 founding members was founded at a conference in Manchester in November 1846 . By 1859 the membership of this organization had grown to 6,000. However, the beginning of Allianz work was not so rapid everywhere. In Germany there was initially greater reluctance because the Evangelical Alliance was perceived as a foreign plant that was actually not necessary for Germany. But well-known German participants were already present at the founding meeting in London in 1846, such as the founder of German Baptism, Johann Gerhard Oncken , the Hallesche Lutheran theology professor August Tholuck and the Swabian Pietist, missionary pioneer and publisher (Calwer Verlag) Christian Gottlob Barth .

By the turn of the century, various worldwide conferences were organized, the main focus of which was to promote the communion and unity of Christians. But many socially relevant questions were also discussed, as Lindemann demonstrated. The conferences took place in London (1851), Paris (1855), Berlin (1857), Geneva (1861), Amsterdam (1867), New York (1873), Basel (1879), Copenhagen (1884) and Florence (1891) . A “ week of prayer ” was decided as early as 1846 at the founding meeting. It was first recorded for Germany in 1861. Since then it has been an integral part of the work of the Evangelical Alliance and is known in German-speaking countries as the Alliance Prayer Week .

Development from 1952

In 1952 the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) was founded. Today it has 36 national alliances in Europe.

The development of today's World Evangelical Alliance (World Evangelical Alliance) took place mainly through the USA. In the beginning there was a very strong Evangelical Alliance there, but over time it completely lost its importance. In 1942 the National Association of Evangelicals was founded, which in the United States played a role similar to that of the Evangelical Alliances elsewhere. In an effort to establish a worldwide network, the Word Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) was finally founded in association with the British Evangelical Alliance . The beginning of this new worldwide association of evangelical Christians was made in 1951 at the International Convention of Evangelicals in Holland, to which 91 representatives from 21 nations met in Woudschoten. The main contributors to this meeting were J. Elwin Wright , Harold J. Ockenga , and Clyde W. Taylor from the USA and John RW Stott and A. Jack Dain from England. A threefold purpose was defined for the new organization: spreading the gospel, defending and validating the gospel, and community through the gospel. The work was divided into four areas: evangelism, mission, literature and Christian action. In 1968 the other European Evangelical Alliances also joined this global umbrella organization. The current name World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) was adopted in 2001.


The members of the World Evangelical Alliance are:

1. Full members are the regional alliances

  • Association of Evangelicals of Africa (AEA)
  • Asia Evangelical Alliance
  • Evangelical Association of the Caribbean
  • European Evangelical Alliance (EEA)
These include also the German Evangelical Alliance, the Swiss Evangelical Alliance and the British Association Evangelical Alliance UK (more information on these national alliances follows below)
  • Latin American Evangelical Fellowship (FIDE)
  • North America Region: USA - National Association of Evangelicals (NAE); Canada - Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC)
  • South Pacific Evangelical Alliance (SPEA)
and national alliances that do not belong to any regional alliance in:
  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Jordan
  • the Palestinian Territories

2. International partner organizations. The Global Partner -Membership is awarded to independent international organizations that contribute to the implementation of the objectives of the wind turbine in a particular service area. These include B .:

3. Church networks and denominations, such as B .:

  • Evangelical Assembly of Presbyterian Churches in America
  • Presbyterian Church in America
  • The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada
  • The Salvation Army

4. Associate members are independent organizations with their own international service areas. These include B. (small selection):


The WEA is headed by a general secretary, whose task is the administration and representation of the alliance. Thomas Schirrmacher has been Secretary General since March 1, 2021.

List of General Secretaries since 1951:

  • Roy Cattell ( United Kingdom ) and J. Elwin Wright ( United States ), co-secretaries (1951–1953)
  • AJ Dain ( United Kingdom ) and J. Elwin Wright ( United States ), co-secretaries (1953–1958)
  • Fred Ferris ( United States ), International Secretary (1958–1962)
  • Gilbert Kirby ( United Kingdom ), International Secretary (1962–1966)
  • Dennis Clark ( Canada ), International Secretary (1966–1970)
  • Gordon Landreth ( United Kingdom ), interim International Secretary (1970–1971)
  • Clyde Taylor ( United States ), International Secretary (1971–1975)
  • Waldron Scott, ( United States ), General Secretary (1975–1980)
  • Wade Coggins ( United States ), Interim General Secretary (1981)
  • David M. Howard ( United States ), International Director (1982–1992)
  • Agustin Vencer ( Philippines ), International Director (1992–2001)
  • Gary Edmonds ( United States ), Secretary General (2002–2004)
  • Geoff Tunnicliffe ( Canada ), Secretary General (2005-2014)
  • Efraim Tendero ( Philippines ), Secretary General (2015-2021)
  • Thomas Schirrmacher ( Germany ), Secretary General (2021–)

German Evangelical Alliance

Logo of the German Evangelical Alliance
Expo 2000 landmark: Pavilion of Hope (Expowal) by WVD , CVJM and DEA .

The German Evangelical Alliance (DEA) is an association of evangelical and above all evangelically minded Christians from different congregations and groups. It forms the German branch of the international Evangelical Alliance.

According to the DEA, around 1.3 million people in Germany are currently committed to organizations or institutions that belong to the Evangelical Alliance or are closely related to it. Around 1100 local alliance circles belong to the German Evangelical Alliance, in which Christians from various local communities and organizations, from regional and free churches and Christian groups and organizations meet in order to jointly promote the goals of the Evangelical Alliance.

The German Evangelical Alliance has two main events every year: the "International Prayer Week" (Alliance Prayer Week) at the beginning of January, which takes place in around 1,100 locations and has around 300,000 visitors, and the Bad Blankenburg "Alliance Conference" , which has been taking place annually since 1886, at the beginning of August with approx. 2500 participants.

The affiliated Institute for Islamic Issues offers information about Islam from an evangelical perspective. It was founded on October 19, 1999. Dieter Kuhl and Albrecht Hauser are chairmen. The scientific director is Christine Schirrmacher . The institute offers an online fatwa archive.

The German Evangelical Alliance is one of over 2,000 organizations registered on the lobby list of the German Bundestag , Wolfgang Baake is the representative of the Evangelical Alliance at the German Bundestag. Long-term co-chairman was among others. also the Westphalian pastor and well-known author Paul Deitenbeck .

The German Evangelical Alliance awards a donation seal to organizations in which the use of the donated funds is guaranteed in their favor. A list of the organizations that have received the donation seal can be found online.

In 2000, the German Evangelical Alliance, together with World Vision Germany and the YMCA Association, took part in the Expo 2000 with the Pavilion of Hope project ; the theme day was July 31, 2000.

The theological basis of the Evangelical Alliance in Germany emphasizes:

  • omnipotence, grace, creation, revelation, redemption, final judgment and perfection through the biblically testified God
  • the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures and their inerrancy in all questions of faith and conduct of life
  • the need for redemption , that is, the total sinfulness and guilt of men, which exposes him to God's wrath and condemnation.
  • Redemption of man through God's grace alone because of the sacrificial death of Jesus
  • Conversion and rebirth of man by the Holy Spirit
  • the priesthood of all believers , which obliges them to proclaim the gospel
  • the visible return of Jesus Christ, bodily resurrection of the dead for judgment and eternal life of the redeemed

Austrian Evangelical Alliance

Swiss Evangelical Alliance

Logo of the Swiss Evangelical Alliance

In Switzerland, the Evangelical Alliance is divided into two separate organizations: The Swiss Evangelical Alliance (SEA) for the German-speaking Switzerland and the Réseau Evangélique Suisse (RES) for French-speaking Switzerland ( Romandie ). Members of the Swiss Evangelical Alliance are parishes from regional and free churches, Christian organizations and individuals.


The Evangelical Alliance takes a position on ideological, ethical, economic and political issues at international, European and local level, for example sexual ethics , freedom of religion or homosexuality . It represents a conservative Christian position in ideological and ethical terms and a socially critical position in economic terms. In both cases she meets criticism from those who think differently. She defends attempts to incorporate creationist content into school education with reference to freedom of expression .

Although the Swiss Evangelical Alliance (SEA) did not support the SVP's minaret initiative against the construction of minarets at mosques, it took a request from the organization of the Islamic Conference at the Swiss embassy in Saudi Arabia to ask for restrictions on religious freedom to point out Islamic countries. Nevertheless, the SEA advocates the voluntary abandonment of the construction of minarets and opposes calls to prayer from minarets over loudspeakers because this endangers “religious peace”.

The worldwide and the German Evangelical Alliance clearly distanced themselves from the so-called International Burn a Koran Day . They advocate freedom of religion for members of all religions and for those without religion worldwide.

See also


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ World Evangelical Alliance (English); last accessed on August 12, 2013
  2. Worldwide Evangelical Alliance on the website of the Evangelical Alliance in Germany
  3. WEA: Define Membership
  4. Definition according to section “Alliances” on the WEA Members website
  5. WEA: Global Partners
  6. Definition according to section “Church Networks and Denominations” on the WEA Members website
  7. Definition according to section “Associates” on the WEA Members page
  8. ^ WEA: Associate Members
  9. ^ NAE: Membership ( Memento of April 10, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  10. SEA: Sections ( Memento of May 5, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  11. WEA International Council Appoints Dr Thomas Schirrmacher as Next Secretary General / CEO, Starting in March 2021 | World Evangelical Alliance. Accessed December 17, 2020 .
  12. a b c The Evangelical Alliance: A Brief History ( Memento of September 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), p. 1
  13. a b c d e History of the World Evangelical Alliance at
  14. Erich Beyreuther: The way of the Evangelical Alliance in Germany , Wuppertal 1969, p. 9
  15. ^ Hans Hauzenberger, Unit on a Protestant basis, Brunnen Verlag, Gießen 1986, ISBN 3-7655-9323-0 , ISBN 3-85706-235-5
  16. ↑ It was not unusual for the meeting to take place in a Masonic hall. Other interdenominational organizations such as the Bible Society , the London Missionary Society and the Anti-Slavery Society also used the rented hall as a neutral meeting place. See The Evangelical Alliance: A Brief History ( Memento of September 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), p. 1
  17. Reinhard Hempelmann (ed.): Handbook of evangelistic-missionary works, institutions and communities , Christian publishing house Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 1997, page 134 ff, ISBN 978-3-7675-7763-3
  18. Friedhelm Jung: The German evangelical movement: basic lines of their history and theology . Ed .: Thomas Schirrmacher. Verlag für Kultur und Wissenschaft, Bonn 2001, ISBN 978-3-932829-21-5 , pp. 28 .
  19. a b The Evangelical Alliance: A Brief History ( Memento of September 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), p. 2
  20. a b c d e f g h Hans Hauzenberger, "Allianz, Evangelische" in ELThG 1, pp. 39–40
  21. ^ The Evangelical Alliance: A Brief History ( Memento of September 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), pp. 1f.
  22. ^ Gerhard Lindemann: For piety in freedom. The history of the Evangelical Alliance in the Age of Liberalism (1846–1879). LIT, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-8258-8920-3 (habilitation)
  23. Article on the history of the Evangelical Alliance on the website of the Evangelical Alliance in Germany
  24. ^ According to the history of the World Evangelical Alliance on Hans Hauzenberger, "Allianz, Evangelische" in ELThG 1, mentions 1943 as the year of foundation on p. 39
  25. ^ Richard V. Pierard: World Evangelical Fellowship . In: Hans Dieter Betz et al. (Ed.): Religion in the past and present . Concise dictionary for theology and religious studies. 4th edition. tape 8 , no. 8 . UTB, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8252-8401-5 , Sp. 1694 .
  26. Members according to information on the website of the World Evangelical Alliance
  27. Jeremy Weber: Head of World Evangelical Alliance Will Step Down for 'Younger Leadership'. Accessed December 17, 2020 .
  28. ^ Evangelical Alliance: Alliance welcomes appointment of new WEA secretary general. Retrieved December 17, 2020 .
  29. Incoming WEA Secretary General Bp Dr Thomas Schirrmacher Highlights “DNA of Christianity” in Inaugural Speech Focused on “Who Are Evangelicals?”
  30. All of society needs repentance to God. Article in the magazine idea-Spektrum, issue 30/31. 2010
  31. idea : Raising the voice for the persecuted : "Around 300,000 Christians are expected in 1,100 places in Germany alone for the week of prayer."
  32. Evangelical Alliance Conference expects 2,500 visitors. EKD , August 2, 2006, archived from the original on September 9, 2010 ; accessed on September 9, 2010 : "From this Wednesday on, around 2,500 participants from all over Germany are expected at the 111th annual conference of the German Evangelical Alliance."
  33. German Evangelical Alliance: list of all organizations that carry the Seal of Approval of the Evangelical Alliance Germany
  34. Whale stranded: Groundbreaking ceremony for the "Pavilion of Hope" at the Hanover Expo. BauNetz, June 25, 1999, archived from the original on July 13, 2010 ; Retrieved July 13, 2010 .
  35. Pavilion of Hope e. V. (CVJM, World Vision, German Evangelical Alliance). Exposeum eV, archived from the original on June 24, 2004 ; Retrieved July 29, 2010 .
  36. ^ German Evangelical Alliance: The common basis of faith
  37. Sexual Ethics - Responding to a Changing World ( Memento from September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) ( MS Word ; 375 kB .doc)
  38. Swiss Evangelical Alliance: Religious Freedom and the Question of Tolerance ( Memento of March 17, 2008 in the Internet Archive ), January 1, 1999
  39. Evangelical Alliance Germany: Christian Faith and Islam (PDF)
  40. ^ Austrian Evangelical Alliance: Christian Faith and Homosexuality ( Memento from March 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  41. German Evangelical Alliance: Steeb: Support for the gay movement weakens trust in politics (dead link)
  42. EKD: Annual Conference of the Evangelical Alliance from Wednesday in Thuringia ( Memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) on, July 31, 2007.
  43. CSD: Protestants criticize Merkel on:, August 17, 2006.
  44. ^ German Evangelical Alliance: Evolution: When teachers are no longer allowed to ask questions , October 10, 2006.
  45. ^ Swiss television: Evangelical alliance defends minaret initiative , SF Tagesschau , January 18, 2008.
  46. Muslims in Switzerland: Orientation and decision-making support for Christians at:, (PDF), pp. 12-13.
  47. Geoff Tunnicliffe: Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance condemns burning of Qur'an. World Evangelical Alliance, September 9, 2010, archived from the original on September 9, 2010 ; Retrieved on September 9, 2010 (English): "The WEA, on behalf of its member churches, Christian organizations and bodies, strongly condemns the Dove World Outreach Center's plans to burn copies of the Qur'an."
  48. Jürgen Werth: German Evangelical Alliance distances itself from the burning of a Koran. German Evangelical Alliance, September 8, 2010, archived from the original on September 8, 2010 ; Retrieved September 8, 2010 : “We hope that this group in the USA will abandon their nonsensical project. In any case, this has nothing to do with Christian faith! The right to religious freedom is indivisible and cannot be exercised by a specific group alone to the exclusion of others "
  49. ^ Resolution on religious freedom and solidarity with the persecuted church of the World Evangelical Alliance. (PDF) WEA, October 30, 2008, archived from the original on September 8, 2010 ; accessed on September 8, 2010 : "The WEA stands for the freedom to practice any religion or no religion at all"