What is a Lutheran?
In 1530, the “Lutherans” (as Luther’s followers had been nicknamed) prepared a statement of their teachings
for presentation to a meeting of leaders of church and state at Augsburg. This statement – now known as the Augsburg Confession – became the first official “confession” or doctrinal statement of the Lutheran Church. Fifty years later, all the confessions of the Lutheran Church were published in the Book of Concord. These are: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, the Augsburg Confession, the Apology (Defence) of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald
Articles, the Small Catechism and the Large Catechism of Luther, and the Formula of Concord.
By the time Luther died in 1546, the Lutheran Reformation had spread through much of Europe, especially the Scandinavian and Baltic countries, as well as Germany. Political events prevented the Lutheran Church from establishing itself in the British Isles, but Luther’s teachings greatly influenced the Protestant Reformation in both England and Scotland.
Lutheran missionaries have taken the Gospel of Christ to most countries of the world. The Lutheran Church was brought to other countries such as the USA, Canada, and Australia by immigrants from Europe, some of whom left their homeland seeking freedom of worship.
The main areas of Lutheran population today are Germany, Scandinavia, USA, and Africa. The fastest-growing Lutheran Churches in the world today are in Third World countries – especially in Africa.