Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania

The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania (German: Evangelische Kirche A.B. [Augsburgischen Bekenntnisses] in Rumänien, Romanian: Biserica Evanghelică de Confesiune Augustană în România) is a German-speaking Lutheran church in Romania, mainly based in Transylvania. As a Lutheran church, it adheres to the Augsburg Confession. Its history goes back to the 12th century when the Transylvanian Saxons arrived in the region, then part of the Kingdom of Hungary.[1]

Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania
Evangelische Kirche Augsburgischen Bekenntnisses in Rumänien (de)
Biserica Evanghelică de Confesiune Augustană în România (ro)
Basov Street 787 Black Church.jpg
AbbreviationBECAR
TypeWestern Christianity
ClassificationProtestant
OrientationLutheranism
ScriptureBible
TheologyLutheran theology
PolityEpiscopal
BishopReinhart Guib
Districs5
Parishes233
Associations
RegionRomania
LanguageGerman
HeadquartersStr. General Magheru nr.4, Sibiu
FounderJohannes Honter
Origin1540s
Separated fromRoman Catholic Church
SeparationsEvangelical Lutheran Church of Romania (1920)
Congregations254
Members14,543 (2008)
Priests44
Tertiary institutionsProtestant Theological Institute of Cluj
Official websiteevang.ro

The church has close ties to, but is distinct from, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Romania, which is mainly Hungarian-speaking. It also cooperates with the Calvinist Reformed Church in Romania.[2]

HistoryEdit

BeginningsEdit

The history of the Evangelical (Lutheran) Church in the territory of today's Romania finds its beginnings in the mid-16th century, through the humanist cartographer and reformer Johannes Honterus.[3] Martin Luther's writings had been brought and spread in Transylvania as early as 1519, but the real reformation among the German Catholic population took place in 1542 (or 1543) with the publication of Reformationsbüchlein by Honterus in his own printing house in Brașov.[4]

In 1572, the Synod of Mediaş accepted the "Augustan Confession", one of the most important doctrinal documents of Lutheranism (presented in 1530 in Augsburg), as the basis for preaching and church life.[3]

In the semi-independent Principality of Transylvania (under Turkish control), the church enjoyed much religious freedom.[2] However this changed when it came under Habsburg control, with the Catholic Church having privileged status.[3]

20th centuryEdit

 
The organization of the German and Hungarian Lutheran church in Transylvania in 1904

The Lutheran German minority was highly persecuted during the communist era. The church activities were surveyed by the Securitate, its school system and the diaconal institutions were dismantled and some priests were arrested and even sent to labor camps (most notably Richard Wurmbrand). This resulted in an increasing emigration of members. After the 1989 revolution (and the opening of the borders), many Germans left the country, which decimated the number of members in the church.[2]

ChurchesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2009-11-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c "World Council of Churches: Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania".
  3. ^ a b c "Secretariatul de stat pentru culte: Biserica Evanghelică C.A. din România" (in Romanian).
  4. ^ (Latin: "Reformatio ecclesiae Coronensis ac totius Barcensis provinciae" (1543), German: "Reformationsbüchlein für Kronstadt und das Burzenland", Romanian: "Cărticica de reformă pentru Brașov și Țara Bârsei")

External linksEdit