The Lutheran Church
- The Lutheran Church is one of the major Christian churches. It is the largest Protestant church. There are more than sixty million Lutherans in the world.
· In Australia and New Zealand almost 250,000 people call themselves Lutherans. There are 648 congregations, 298 parishes, 533 pastors (including those who have retired) and 92 lay workers.
· Australian Lutheranism in the twenty first century reflects the multicultural nature of the Australian nation itself - with 22% of Australians being born in another country. Aussie Lutherans have their roots in every continent – from Argentina to China, from Sudan to Papua New Guinea, from Cambodia to Canada, and from Britain to South Africa.
· The Lutheran church has been in Australia and New Zealand for more than 150 years. In the 1830's small groups of European Lutherans emigrated in search of religious freedom. They settled mainly in rural areas in various parts of Australia.
· The Lutheran church is the oldest Protestant church. It dates back to the Reformation in the sixteenth century when Martin Luther challenged some of the teachings and practices of the church of his day. Luther insisted that the Bible is the authority that decides what the church should teach and do.
· The name 'Lutheran' was given to people who believed that Martin Luther was right in his interpretation of the Bible.