|International Lutheran Council|
|General Secretary||Albert B. Collver III|
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The International Lutheran Council is a worldwide association of confessional Lutheran denominations. It is to be distinguished from the Lutheran World Federation and the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference. The member church bodies of the ILC are not required to be in church-fellowship with one another, though many of them are. The organization was constituted in 1993 at a council held in Antigua, Guatemala, although it traces its roots back to theological conferences held in many locations during the 1950s and 1960s.
Member bodies of the ILC hold "an unconditional commitment to the Holy Scriptures as the inspired and infallible Word of God and to the Lutheran Confessions contained in the Book of Concord as the true and faithful exposition of the Word of God."
The Council has 54 participating churches as of 2018. Among its larger members are the Malagasy Lutheran Church, Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS), the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil, and the Lutheran Church—Canada. Altogether, approximately 7,150,000 adherents belong to ILC member churches.
The Council's Chairman is Bishop Hans-Jörg Voigt of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church, Germany. The Executive Secretary is Albert B. Collver III of the LCMS. Delegates to the ILC meet every two years.
The organization has not accepted the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, an agreement reached by the Catholic Church's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation, in 1999. The ILC has been involved in dialogue with the PCPCU, with a final report expected to be adopted in 2020.
The origins of the ILC go back to a meeting at Uelzen, Germany in July 1952 by Lutherans who were not happy with the theological course being taken by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Among the participants were delegates from the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod who had been observers at the LWP assembly in Hannover. Other delegates were present from churches affiliated with the LCMS from Germany, Australia, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. Two further meetings were held, in Oakland, California in 1958 and in Cambridge in August 1963. At the latter meeting it was decided to create a permanent organization, a "Continuation Committee", to act for the group in between meetings, which were now dubbed International Lutheran Theological Conferences. The committee was also tasked with publishing a theological journal and a committee bulletin, and with facilitating exchanges of pastors, theological professors, and students. However, the meeting explicitly disclaimed it was founding a group in opposition to the LWF.
Five more "theological conferences" were held until the name was shortened to International Lutheran Conference at the Eighth conference in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Resolutions passed during this period described the ILC as a partnership, forum, or "group of independent Lutheran churches". At the Fifteenth Conference in Antigua, Guatemala the group decided on creating a more formal structure as an association of churches and adopted a document Guiding Principles which would serve as a constitution and theological point of reference. The "Continuation Committee" was replaced by an "Executive Council".
The ILC at their 2018 World Conference meeting, held in Antwerp, Belgium, on 25–26 September 2018, voted to admit 17 new church bodies, 11 as full members and 6 as associate members. This will increase the church members of ILC to 54 and their faithful to 7.15 million members.
By country in alphabetical order
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina (Iglesia Evangélica Luterana Argentina)
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Belgium (Evangelisch-Lutherse Kerk in België)
- Christian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bolivia (Iglesia Cristiana Evangélica Luterana de Bolivia) - also a member of the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil (Igreja Evangélica Luterana do Brasil)
- Burkina Faso
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Republic of Chile (Iglesia Evangélica Luterana de la República de Chile)
- China (Hong Kong SAR)
- Lutheran Church—Hong Kong Synod (香港路德會)
- China, Republic of (Taiwan)
- China Evangelical Lutheran Church (中華福音道路德會)
- Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Denmark (Den evangelisk-lutherske Frikirke i Danmark)
- Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland (Finnish: Suomen evankelisluterilainen lähetyshiippakunta, Swedish: Evangelisk-lutherska missionsstiftet i Finland)
- Lutheran Church of Guatemala (Consejo Luterano Iglesia Luterana en Guatemala)
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti (Eglise Evangelique Lutherienne D'Haiti)
- India Evangelical Lutheran Church - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation
- Japan Lutheran Church (日本ルーテル教団) - also an associate member of the Lutheran World Federation
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation and a member of the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum
- Korea, South
- Lutheran Church in Korea (기독교한국루터회) - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation
- Lutheran Synod of Mexico (Sinodo Luterano de Mexico)
- Lutheran Church Synod of Nicaragua (Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Nicaragua)
- Lutheran Church in Norway (Den Lutherske Kirke i Norge)
- Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of Norway (Det evangelisk-lutherske stift i Norge)
- Papua New Guinea
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Paraguay (Iglesia Evangélica Luterana del Paraguay)
- Evangelical Lutheran Church - Peru (Iglesia Evangélica Luterana - Perú) - also a member of the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum Note: this is not the same Lutheran denomination like Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en el Perú, known as Christuskirche, member of the Lutheran World Federation).
- Lutheran Church in the Philippines - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (Евангелическая-лютеранская Церковь ИНГРИИ) - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation
- Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (Сибирская Евангелическо-Лютеранская Церковь)
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church, replacement body for the Lanka Lutheran Church - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation
- The Mission Province (Missionsprovinsen) - also a member of the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
- Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
- American Association of Lutheran Churches
- Lutheran Ministerium and Synod – USA
- Lutheran Church of Venezuela (Iglesia Luterana de Venezuela)
- Lutheran Church of Australia - also an associate member of the Lutheran World Federation
- Indonesian Lutheran Christian Church - also a member of the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum
- Myanmar (Burma)
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- The Lutheran Church of the Republic of China - also a full member of the Lutheran World Federation
- List of Lutheran denominations
- Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference
- Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum
- Lutheran World Federation
- "ILC welcomes 17 new member churches representing 4,15 million Lutherans worldwide". International Lutheran Council. 26 September 2018.
- Meetings between ILC and PCPCU continue, International Lutheran Council Official Website, 13 September 2018
- International Lutheran Council; Summary of International Conferences Compiled by E. Geo Pearce and Peter H. F. Ahlers, pp.3-4
- Pearce & Ahlers pp.8-10
- Pearce & Ahlers pp.15-6
- Constitution/Guiding Principles
- Collver, Al (January 20, 2016). "The Nordic Lutheran Dioceses and the International Lutheran Council Discuss Membership". ILC Online. Retrieved May 9, 2017.