Here you can find basic information about the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Czech Republic (ECAV v ČR) in English. If you are seeking information about our English-speaking congregation, please click here.
THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH OF THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Czech Republic (ECAC in the CR) is a young church body. It came into existence after the split of the Czecho-Slovak Federation in 1993; as a result St. Michael’s (Prague) found itself the only congregation of the Slovak Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession (SECAC) in the territory of the Czech Republic.
As soon as the Czechoslovak Republic came into existence in 1918 a significant number of Slovak Lutherans found themselves in Prague and other places of the historically Czech lands. They attended worship services of other congregations until their own one was founded. After 1939 the number of immigrants from Slovakia rose as many couples of mixed nationalities were forced to leave the country. Again a large number Slovaks emmigrated to Bohemia in 1945, immediately after the end of World War Two. They settled down especially in the border regions.
The Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in Prague was founded not long after the end of the Second World War, in 1947. Here in New Town, Prague, they managed to get the recently emptied St. Michael church on V Jirchařích Street for their newly established congregation. Prior to the end of the Second World War the church had been used by German Lutherans living in Prague.
After 1989 missionaries from different countries began to come to the Czech Republic. One of them was of Czech origin, Pastor James Alton Krikava, from the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) in the United States. He participated in the birth of three congregations of the ECAC in the CR: the English-speaking congregation in Prague, the Czech congregation in Pilsen and the Czech congregation in Prague.
The Czech congregations of the ECAC in the CR follow the Czech Lutheran congregational tradition, filling an empty space that emerged in the Czech and Moravian territory in 1918 as a consequence of the union between the churches of the Augsburg and the Helvetic Confessions, which effectively ended the existence of confessional Lutheran congregations. The Czech congregations of the ECAC in the CR heavily emphasize both Luther's teaching and his liturgical testament: the Sacrament of the Altar is served at every Divine Worship Service, and albs, stoles and cassocks in liturgical colours are worn by celebrants.
The ECAC in the CR is a community of Christians – Evangelicals of the Augsburg Confession, who confess the Holy Scriptures as the only rule of faith and Christian life as interpreted in accordance with the Book of Concord. The ECAC in the CR is an independent, autonomous church body that operates and performs its mission within the territory of the Czech Republic.
Its main mission is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ; to confess and to strengthen faith in the Divine Trinity; to bear witness of God and to instill the faith in the consciousness of all people (above all in the young); to serve its own members with worship services (administration of the Word and Sacraments) and religious education; to provide spiritual and pastoral care; to teach mutual respect, support, tolerance and an exemplary Christian and civil life; to cooperate with other Christian churches and associations to spread and strengthen Christianity; to actively pursue acts of love, justice and peace in the civil life according to the intentions of the Gospel and in cooperation with all people of good will.
Organization and structure
The basic unit of the church is a congregation comprised of its members – evangelical Lutherans. Each congregation is guided by a Congregational Presidium, comprised of the Congregational Pastor and the non-ordained (lay) Congregational Supervisor. The highest administrative authority of each congregation is the Convent (i.e. the congregational assembly), which consists of all adult members of the congregation. In the period between the assemblies of the Convent each congregation is directed by its own Congregational Presbytery.
The administrative head of the ECAC in the CR is the Church Presidium, which consists of the Superintendent and the Senior Consistor. The highest authority of the ECAC in the CR is the Church Synod, comprised of the members of the Church Consistory and a certain number of lay delegates of each church congregation (the particular number of lay delegates is derived from the number of members in each congregation). In the period between the assemblies of the Synod the church body is directed by the Church Consistory comprised of the Church Presidium and all Congregational Presidiums. The church authorities of the ECAC in the CR reside in the Capital City of Prague, Czech Republic.
The ECAC in the CR is a member of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in the Czech Republic, it cooperates with the ECAC in Slovakia, the (SCEAC) Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession and other Lutheran churches all over the world.
The ECAC in the CR has five congregations: the Czech, the Slovak and the English-speaking congregations in Prague, the Czech congregation in Pilsen and the Czech congregation in Brno. It has currently one preaching station in Kaznějov under the supervision of the Pilsen congregation. One pastor is entrusted with the pastoral care of university students at the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice.