The Full Wiki

More info on Landeskirche

Landeskirche: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

In Germanymarker and Switzerlandmarker, a Landeskirche (plural - Landeskirchen) is the church of a region. They originated as the national churches of the independent states, States of Germany or Cantons of Switzerland , that later unified to form modern Germany (in 1871) or modern Switzerland (in 1848), respectively.

Origins in the Holy Roman Empire

In the pre-Reformation era, the organization of the church within a land was understood as a landeskirche, certainly under a higher power (the pope or a patriarch), but also possessing an increased measure of independence, especially as concerning its internal structure and its relations to its king, prince or ruler. Unlike in Scandinavia and England, the bishops in the national churches did not survive the Reformation, making it impossible for a conventional diocesan system to continue within Lutheranism. Therefore Martin Luther demanded that, as a stop-gap, each secular Landesherr (a monarch or a body, like the governments of republican Imperial estates, such as Free Imperial Cities or Swiss cantons) should exercise episcopal functions in the respective territories. The principal of cuius regio, eius religio also arose out of the Reformation, and according to this a Landesherr chose what denomination his subjects had to belong to. This led to closed, insular landeskirchen. The principle was a byproduct of religious politics in the Holy Roman Empire and soon softened after the Thirty Years' War.

At the time of the abolition of the monarchy in Germany in 1918, the Landesherren were Landesbischöfe (Landes bishops) in the administrative areas), and the ties between church and nation came to be particularly close, even with Landesherren outside the Lutheran church. So the (Roman Catholic) king of Bavaria was at the same time bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria right of the River Rhine. In practice, the Landesherren exercised episcopal functions (summus episcopus) only indirectly through a Konsistorium or Consistory.

In Germany

List of Landeskirchen in 1922

In 1922 the following Landeskirchen founded the umbrella German Federation of Protestant Churches ( , 1922-1933). The respective denomination of each Landeskirche (Calvinist (Reformed), Lutheran or United), if not indicated by the name, is added within the brackets.

List of further Protestant church bodies in Germany

This is a list of more Protestant church bodies, which were not members of the German Federation of Protestant Churches
  1. Evangelical Reformed Church in Bavaria ( , merged in 1989 in the Evangelical Reformed Church - Synod of Reformed Churches in Bavaria and Northwestern Germany ( ) - Territory: then the Free State of Bavariamarker right of the River Rhine
  2. Lower Saxon Confederation (Reformed, ) - Territory: Calvinist congregations, mostly of Huguenot foundation, in the Free State of Brunswick, the Free and Hanseatic Cities of Hamburgmarker and Lübeckmarker and the Prussian Province of Hanovermarker.


For a list of today's Protestant Landeskirchen in Germany see their umbrella Evangelical Church in Germany.


Offices and institutions


In Switzerland

Switzerlandmarker has no country-wide state religion, though most of the cantons (except for Genevamarker and Neuchâtelmarker) recognize official Landeskirchen, in all cases including the Catholic Church and the Swiss Reformed Church. These churches, and in some cantons also the Old Catholic Church and Jewish congregations, are financed by official taxation of adherents.


See also

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address