Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy

The Lutheran Evangelical Church in Italy (Italian: Chiesa Evangelica Luterana in Italia, German: Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Italien, abbreviated CELI or ELKI) is a Protestant denomination in the Lutheran tradition in Italy.

Founded in 1949,[1] the CELI/ELKI, which includes both German- and Italian-speaking communities, is a member of the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy (FCEI) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).[2]

The first Lutheran community in Italy was formed in Venice in 1650. Within the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Lutheran churches were formed in Trieste (1778), Merano (1861) and Bolzano (1889). Under Prussian influence, communities were formed in Rome (1819), Naples (1826) and Florence (1899). Finally, German-speaking citizens established churches in Milan (1850), Sanremo (1870) and Genoa (1896). Lutheranism flourished in Naples and Torre Annunziata thanks to the missionary work of pastor Idelmo Poggioli. All the aforementioned communities were gathered in the CELI/EKLI since 1949. Other churches were formed, notably in Catania (1991), Verona (2008) and Turin (2009),[1] under the supervision of CELI/ELKI, which was a founding member of the FCEI in 1967.[3]

The denomination includes 17 communities, some of which covering entire regions,[4] and more than 7,000 baptized members.[5]

The CELI/ELKI allows the ordination of women and the blessing of same-sex unions,[6] in line with other FCEI denominations.


  1. "Che cos'è la CELI". Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  2. "Relazioni Ecumeniche". Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-02. Retrieved 2016-04-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Chiesa Evangelica Luterana in Italia". Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-21. Retrieved 2013-04-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "ChangingAttitude: The Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy says yes to the blessing of same-sex couples, May 31, 2011". Archived from the original on July 22, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2015.

See also

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