Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad
This church is the former Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia in Exile which established its headquarters in Germany after the occupation of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union in the first years of World War II. The members of the church, about 120,000 at the time, scattered throughout Europe, North and South America, and Australia. The office of the archbishop moved from Germany to the USA, from there to Canada and again back to Germany in 1994. The church is much smaller now but its congregations are still spread widely over 15 countries, with the main concentrations in Canada, the USA and Australia. The archbishop is assisted by an 18-member church council which has executive powers
During the years of exile the church made a new translation of the Bible in Latvian. It has produced a new hymnal and many theological books. It established a mission in Chennai, India. After the political changes in Eastern Europe the name of the church was changed to Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad, to signify that it is seeking to meet the realities and challenges of a trans-regional church in a long-term perspective. The church is in close relationships and cooperation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia.