Who are the ELCA's companions in Namibia?
Who is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia and what are its ministries?
Youth worship in Namibia
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN)
, a member of the Lutheran World Federation
, is located primarily in the northern part of the country, with 652,000 members divided into western and eastern dioceses. Although much of the ELCIN is located in the north, it is present in the central and southern parts of the country, too.
ELCIN priorities are congregational ministry, Christian education, mission work, HIV & AIDS projects and urban work. The ELCIN operates two high schools with boarding facilities in Oshigambo and Nkurunkuru. The ELCIN, in cooperation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia, operates the Paulinum United Lutheran Theological Seminary in the capital city of Windhoek. Enrollment in the seminary is about sixty women and men theological students.Who is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia and what are its ministries?
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN), a member of the Lutheran World Federation, is made up of 350,000 members in central and southern Namibia and worships in English, Herero, Nama, and Afrikaans.
The ELCRN stresses education at various levels. It operates a number of schools and boarding houses including Martin Luther High School and a school to train hostel and kindergarten teachers. The ELCRN also offers courses to train Sunday school teachers and music leaders. It cooperates with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia to train pastors at the Paulinum United Lutheran Theological Seminary in the capital Windhoek with links to the University of Namibia.
Diaconal service, evangelism, women’s, men’s and youth ministries, HIV and AIDS projects and mission outreach are all important aspects of the church's life. Mission outreach in neighboring eastern Botswana was begun in 1960 and the congregations established there became part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana.How do the companions in Namibia and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America accompany one another in ministry?
The Martin Luther High School
Through the churchwide ELCA Global Mission unit, the ELCA relates to and is in bilateral relationship with over 80 companion churches and institutions. The ELCA Global Mission unit stewards a church-to-church relationship with these companions.
Relationships with both the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) are deepened by their relationships, through the ELCA Companion Synods Program, with the ELCA Metro Washington DC, Southwestern Washington, Northeastern Iowa, and New Jersey Synods.Churchwide funding
through the ELCA Global Mission unit to the ELCIN supports key priorities identified by the ELCIN, including theological education, leadership development, scholarships for post-graduate studies, the ELCIN AIDS Action project, and the church’s high schools. Churchwide funding through the ELCA Global Mission unit to the ELCRN supports key priorities identified by the ELCRN, including theological education, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia AIDS Project (ELCAP), and Martin Luther High School. Two ELCA mission personnel serve in Namibian education ministries. Namibia: The context in which the churches serve
The Republic of Namibia gained its independence from South Africa in 1990 after a long struggle in which the global Lutheran community played a key role. Only 7% of Namibia’s 2.055 million people speak English, the official language. Afrikaans is the common language, while German is spoken by 30% of inhabitants. Between 80 and 90% of Namibians are Christians, of whom half are Lutherans. The other 10 to 20% of the population practice native religions.
Namibia is Africa’s fourth-largest exporter of non-fuel minerals and the world’s fifth-largest producer of uranium. Despite its mineral wealth, unemployment is high, income distribution is unequal, and the rural majority is barely able to eke out a living even in non-drought years. Although Namibia now has access to world markets, it remains economically dependent on South Africa. HIV/AIDS is a health concern with 21.3% (2003 est.) of the adult population living with AIDS.
For up-to-date information on Namibia, type “Namibia” into an online search engine or visit: