EKD - Evangelical Church of Westphalia*
(Evangelische Kirche von Westfalen)
From 1524 onwards the Reformation spread through the territory of Westphalia, particularly in the cities. Besides the Lutheran congregations, a few Reformed communities also came into being. A few churches remained Roman Catholic. A presbyterian-synodal church order was devised in 1835.
In 1945 the EKW became independent as a church of the Union and joined the Evangelical Church in Germany. Since the second world war the church has remained a "folk church". This implies that the overwhelming majority of the population in Westphalia belongs to the church. Since 1968 (year of the WCC's fourth assembly in Uppsala) the EKW has taken up the challenge of the manifold relations between confessions and churches in the ecumenical movement and the social engagement of the world community of Christians and churches. Of the annual church income 3.5 percent is invested in ecumenical missionary and development projects. The church maintains numerous contacts with congregations and synods of churches in Africa, South-East Asia, Eastern Europe and the Evangelical Church of the River Plate in Latin America.
* The Evangelical Church of Westphalia 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).