EKD - Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover
(Evangelisch-Lutherische Landeskirche Hannovers)
During the reign of Charlemagne (d. 814), Anglo-Saxon missionaries assisted in the conversion of the people of Lower Saxony. Many of today's parish boundaries are from medieval times. The introduction of the Reformation began in 1527. Moderating influences kept Hanoverian Lutheranism from extreme confessionalism. Pietism gained little following. The Enlightenment proved more popular, but eventually yielded to the religious awakenings of the early 19th century. Hanover's contemporary contribution to world Lutheranism and to the modern ecumenical movement is best summed up in the dynamic career of Bishop Hanns Lilje (1899-1977), a president of the WCC from 1968-75.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover combines episcopal, synodal and other elements in its organization. The constitution, first adopted in 1922 and most recently amended in 1965, provides for several central church organs. The bishop is the spiritual (clerical) head of the church. He or she chairs the senate, the church council, and the bishop's council which is made up of the district superintendents of the church's eight districts. The church maintains official relations with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Africa, the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church of South India, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Siberia, Ural and the Far East, the Evangelical Church of France, the Lutheran Church of Great Britain and Lutheran churches in several other countries.