Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Saxony

The Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Saxony (Evangelisch-Lutherische Landeskirche Sachsens) is one of 22 member Churches of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), covering most of the state of Saxony. Its headquarters are in Dresden, and its bishop (styled Bishop of Saxony[1]) has his or her seat at Meissen Cathedral.


Historically, its organisation became an example for other Protestant churches to be founded throughout Europe, the so-called "Saxon model" of a church as introduced by Martin Luther itself. It was closely tied to the state, whereby the Elector of Saxony protected the evangelical faith in his jurisdiction. Since the Reformation, the Lutheran orthodoxy (the "purest form" of Lutheranism) prevailed among the general population in Saxony and was secured first by its Ernestine and later Albertine Wettin rulers. Beginning in the 17th century, Pietism also gained a significant following, especially among the working class.

In 2019, Carsten Rentzing, bishop of the church since 2015, resigned his position after controversy arose about his connections to far-right parties and groups.[2]


  • 1922–1933: Ludwig Heinrich Ihmels
  • 1933–1945: Friedrich Otto Coch
  • 1945–1947: Franz Lau
  • 1947–1953: Hugo Hahn
  • 1953–1971: Gottfried Noth
  • 1971–1994: Johannes Hempel
  • 1994–2004: Volker Kreß
  • 2004–2015: Jochen Bohl
  • 2015–2019: Carsten Rentzing


  • 1922: 4,509,000,[3] then by parishioners by far the biggest Lutheran church in Germany
  • 2012: 764,000
  • 2013: 754,451[4]
  • 2015: 713,648[5]
  • 2017: 689,858[6]


Ordination of women and blessing of same-sex unions were allowed.[7]


  1. The Bishop's title on his/her own home page Archived 2016-12-20 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Greifenstein, Philipp (12 October 2019). "Carsten Rentzing: Warum der Bischof zurücktritt". Die Eule (in German). Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  3. Sebastian Müller-Rolli in collaboration with Reiner Anselm, Evangelische Schulpolitik in Deutschland 1918–1958: Dokumente und Darstellung, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1999, (=Eine Veröffentlichung des Comenius-Instituts Münster), p. 29. ISBN 3-525-61362-8.
  4. The Lutheran World Federation – 2013 Membership Figures Lutheran World
  5. Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland - Kirchemitgliederzahlen Stand 31.12.2015 EKD Januar 2017
  6. Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland - Kirchemitgliederzahlen Stand 31.12.2017 ekd.de
  7. Evlks.de:„Segnung von Paaren in Eingetragener Lebenspartnerschaft“ in Sachsen möglich (German) Archived 2016-10-19 at the Wayback Machine, 18 October 2016

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