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Lutheran World Federation

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF; German: Lutherischer Weltbund) is a global communion of national and regional Lutheran churches headquartered in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. The federation was founded in the Swedish city of Lund in the aftermath of the Second World War in 1947 to coordinate the activities of the many differing Lutheran churches. Since 1984, the member churches are in pulpit and altar fellowship, with common doctrine as the basis of membership and mission activity.

The LWF now has 144 member church bodies in 79 countries representing over 72 million Lutherans.The LWF acts on behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and development work.

The Department for World Service is the LWF's humanitarian arm. It has programmes in 32 countries. The LWF is a member of ACT Alliance.

The Department for World Service is the LWF's humanitarian arm. It has programmes in 32 countries. The LWF is a member of ACT Alliance.

On October 31, 1999, in Augsburg, Germany, the Lutheran World Federation signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification with the Roman Catholic Church. The statement is an attempt to narrow the theological divide between the two faiths. The Declaration also states that the mutual condemnations between 16th-century Lutherans and the Roman Catholic Church no longer apply. A similar event took place in Lund Cathedral at the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation when Pope Francis visited Scania, Sweden's southernmost province that originally was Danish

The federation was organized at Lund, Sweden, in 1947. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, it replaced the more informal Lutheran World Convention, which had been founded in 1924. The goal was to coordinate international activities of the many Lutheran churches, to provide a forum for discussions on theological and organizational issues, and to assist in philanthropy, missionary activity, and exchange of students and professors. A key leader was Executive Secretary Sylvester C. Michelfelder (1889–1951), representing the American Lutheran Church. He had been a leader in organizing $45 million in American help for the rebuilding of Protestant churches in Germany after 1945. By the time of his death in 1951, the federation represented 52 churches in 25 countries.

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