Lutherans adopt survival positions
HEAD OF E.L.C.R. BRAUER TOLD RUSSIAN NEWS MEDIA ABOUT HIS DEPARTURE FROM THE COUNTRY
Institute of Religion and Politics, 23 March 2022
"Unfortunately the press interprets a great deal in its own way"
The head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the European Part of Russia (ELCER), Archbishop Dietrich Brauer, in conversation with RIA Novosti, described how he left Russia on the invitation of the Evangelical Church in Germany (ECG) for prayer for peace and discussion with believers, lamenting that "the press interprets a great deal in its own way."
Previously the provost (head of a church province) of the Central Province and head of the administration of the ELCER, Viktor Weber, told RIA Novosti that Brauer left Russia on a business trip. At the same time, the website of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wurtemberg, which is a part of the ECG, published an interview with Dietrich Brauer in German in which Brauer supposedly gave a negative answer to a question about the possibility of a return to Russia in the near future, and he also declared that "he is distancing himself" from the special operation by the Russian Federation in Ukraine.
"I traveled to Germany on invitation of the Evangelical Church of Germany. Here there is the possibility of joint prayer for peace and fellowship with fellow believers. In the passion season, the season of Lent, this has special significance. I am for the immediate end of the conflict and the establishment of a stable peace. Unfortunately, the press interprets a great deal in its own way," Dietrich Brauer told RIA Novosti.
In conversation with RIA Novosti, the archbishop noted that he "still does not know" how long his visit will last.
On 18 March 2022,
Brauer took part in
the Berlin cathedral church of the ECG in prayer for peace in
with clergy of the ECG and also with the bishop of the German
Lutheran Church of Ukraine, Pavel Swartz. (tr. by PDS, posted 23
AFTER BRAUER'S DEPARTURE, E.L.C.R. PUBLISHES ITS POSITION
Institute of Religion and Politics, 20 March 2022
The church is open to believers of various views; it profoundly regrets that in Ukraine people are suffering and dying, and it calls politicians to reach a peaceful resolution of the conflict as soon as possible. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Russia (ELCR) has formed a temporary leadership and published its official position after the departure to Germany of Archbishop Dietrich Brauer.
When it became known in the R.F. that the head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Russia, Archbishop Dietrich Brauer, departed the country and is in Germany, the ELCR took actions provided for in its by-laws.
As the Institute of Religion and Politics was told at the ELCR, on 18 March 2022 a session of the General Consistory, the governing organ of the church, was held, at which the decision was made that in accordance with the by-laws of the church, the duties of the archbishop during his absence will be fulfilled by his deputy, Vladimir Provorov.
A statement of the General Consistory of the ELC of Russia was published (see below). This is the official position of the church. In an earlier published interview by the archbishop, the personal opinion of Dietrich Brauer was expressed.
Statement of the General Consistory
of the centralized religious organization
"Evangelical Lutheran Church of Russia"
In this time that is difficult for the country and for the whole world, we declare:
1. Our church is part of the rich spiritual tradition of Russia, and we feel ourselves united with our country, both in joyful times and in difficult times. We pray for our nation, for the well-being, freedom, wisdom, and strength of our state.
2. We proceed from the fact that our parishioners are faithful sons and daughters of our fatherland, but they may have diverse convictions and views. The doors of our churches remain open for all. We view all believers as brothers and sisters. At the same time, in our congregations we avoid political discussions and schisms.
3. As Christians we view any manifestation of violence with anxiety and we are called to pray for peace and an end to bloodshed. We follow this call in our worship services and we profoundly regret that now in Ukraine people are suffering and dying, and we call politicians to reach a peaceful resolution of the conflict as quickly as possible.
4. Despite all political divisions in our congregations, we feel our spiritual ties with our Ukrainian fellow believers and we pray for the immediate onset of peace and that hatred, bitterness, and confrontation not arise between our peoples.
5. In our congregations a whole series of social projects are being conducted, aimed at aid for refugees from territories affected at the present time by the armed conflict.
6. This statement should be viewed as the official position of the church on the current situation.
In the name of and by authority of the General Consistory.
Deputy Archbishop of the centralized religious organization "Evangelical Lutheran Church of Russia," V.A. Provorov
(tr. by PDS, posted 23 March 2022)
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