EKD - Evangelical Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Oberlausitz*
(Evangelische Kirche Berlin-Brandenburg-Schlesische Oberlausitz)
The history of the Evangelical Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Oberlausitz started only in 2004 when the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg and the Evangelical Church of Silesian Oberlausitz merged. The Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg had come into being in 1945. Before that it was one of the church provinces of the Evangelical Church of the Old Prussian Union. This church was affected and shaped very much by the events after the second world war, the division of Germany, the Berlin wall and later the fall of communism until the reunification of Germany, because the dividing line during the cold war went right through its territory. The Evangelical Church of Silesian Oberlausitz lost about 90 percent of its territory and of its members because of the new border lines after World War II. Nevertheless it decided in 1950 to continue existing as an autonomous church.
The structure of the Evangelical Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Oberlausitz is based on the parishes. In the governing bodies lay people as well as ordained persons work together equally. Among 44 deaneries with Lutheran and United parishes, one deanery kept its Reformed identity.
The church offers a manifold variety of living one's faith. There is also a manifold offer of diaconal work, formation and culture. The Evangelical Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Oberlausitz is linked in an ecumenical spirit in partnership with a variety of churches, parishes and Christian organizations in other countries. Many of these relationships are based on a common history in the mission field, especially in Southern Africa, China, India and Tanzania. In the perspective of a "common European house" the partnership with churches in Europe has specific importance. These are the Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren, as well as Evangelical Lutheran parishes in the Volga region in Russia. There are also partnership relations with the dioceses of Gothenburg (Sweden), Chichester and London (England) and with conferences of the United Church of Christ in the USA and the United Reformed Church in England. These relationships are shaped by exchange of delegations, mutual intercessions, exchange of workers and financial support.
* The Evangelical Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Oberlausitz has never directly applied for membership in the WCC and is therefore not counted as a member but is represented through the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD).