Articles / Lutheranism


Subject / Religion. Church

Lutheranism. The first Lutheran parish was formed in Koporye in 1590 in the territory of the contemporary Leningrad Oblast. The dissemination of Lutheranism began in Russia after the annexation of the lands of the Neva River by Sweden in 1617. Lands were returned to Russia during the Northern War (1700-1721) and Peter I announced about the preservation of the rights of Lutherans in 1702. Foreigners received the right to settle in the Russian Empire after the Manifesto of Catherine II of 22 July 1763 and more than 300 German colonies were founded in Russia including the environs of SPb. In 1804 the Supreme Duartermaster Administration of the St Petersburg Guberniya was established (Ecclesiastical Administartion of the Foreign Confessions from 1810). From 18th century the Evangelical -Lutheran Church (ELC) performed the education and culture activity in the St Petersburg Guberniya. Pastors organized the education societies and publishing books, control under the churches and schools in the German colonies were transferred to pastors. Two Evangelical hospitals worked from the middle of the 19th century in the Guberniya and the Evangelical Union for the religious-moral care about Protestants worked from 1876 and etc. The Evangelical -Lutheran Church had the government protection and the number of the Lutheran churches increased quickly. 264,000 Lutherans lived in the Guberniya in 1897 ( 69 percent of Lutherans were Finns, 21 percent of Lutherans were Germans , 3 percent of Lutherans were Latvians). There are 31 German colonies in the early 20th century, also there are six parishes, ten churches, nine prayer houses and eighteen church schools. Tens thousands of Estonians and Latvians moved in the St Petersburg Guberniya between the eras of the 19th-20th cc. There are many mixed parishes: two churches, Estonian-Finnish-Swedish and German-Latvian, worked in Kronstadt, German-Finnish-Estonian churches worked in Gatchina and Schlüsselburg etc. There are 119 parishes, 167 churches, 683 prayer houses, 120 pastors , 703,000 parishioners, more than half of parishioners lived in three North-West Guberniyas of the Petrograd Okrug in 1917. ELC of Russia has family ties with German Lutheranism on traditions, ecclesiastical organization and activity. German was the official language of the ecclesiastical administration before the late 19th century.The activity of the German pastors was restricted and two pastors were exiled from the Guberniya after the beginning of WWI and before February 1917. After the October 1917 Revolution the repressions were began but in 1925-1934 the Lutheran Seminary worked in Leningrad. The last churches were closed in the Leningrad Oblast in 1938, Germans and Finns were deported in the beginning of the 1940s. The revival of the Lutheranism in Russia began in the 1990s (the first Lutheran church was opened in Pushkin in 1977). In 1994 in SPb the first General Synod of the re-created ELC of Russia and CIS (ELKRAS; 58 parishes) took place, bishop Georg Krechmar (he was archbishop from 2000) was the head of ELC in 1994–2005. The magazine «Der Bote» is pablished from 1992 in SPb. The archbishop cathedra is placed in the Church of St Peter in Spb from 1997. The Theological Seminary worked in the settlement of Novosaratovka from April 1997.
v.also: Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Ingria.

Shkarovsky, Mikhail Vitalyevich

Catherine II, Empress
Krechmar, Georg, archbishop
Peter I, Emperor

Leningrad Oblast, the/Gatchina District/Gatchina Town
Leningrad Oblast, the/Lomonosov District/Koporye Village
Saint-Petersburg City/Kronshtadt Town
Leningrad Oblast, the/Vsevolozhsk District/Novosaratovka Village
Leningrad Oblast, the/Shlisselburg Town

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Лиценбергер О.А. Евангелическо-лютеранская церковь и советское государство (1917-1938). М., 1999
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Шкаровский М., Черепенина Н. История Евангелическо-лютеранской церкви на Северо-Западе России. 1917-1945. СПб., 2004

Subject Index
Theology Institute of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Ingria named after S.-Y. Laurikaly