Christian Lutheran Church in Honduras
Who is the Christian Lutheran Church of Honduras and what are its ministries?
Contexto Iglesia Buen Pastor
The Christian Lutheran Church of Honduras (Iglesia Cristiana Luterana de Honduras - ICLH) is a member of the Lutheran World Federation
and the Communion of Central American Lutheran Churches (CILCA). At present, the ICLH has over 2,000 members in ten congregations and five mission points. Since 2004, the ICLH has been guided by the vision of an inclusive church that engages in holistic mission with marginalized groups of people. In its community-based ministry, the ICLH focuses on lay leadership development, children and youth ministry, preventive health care, HIV & AIDS awareness, micro-enterprise projects for women, environmental education and disaster prevention & response.How do the Iglesia Christiana Luterana de Honduras and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America accompany one another in ministry?
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 the ICLH.
This relationship is deepened and extended by its relationships, through the ELCA Companion Synods program, with the ELCA Northwest Lower Michigan and New England Synods.Churchwide funding
through the ELCA Global Mission unit supports key priorities identified by the ICLH, including mission outreach, scholarships for leadership development, Biblical-theological formation of pastors and lay leaders, community-based health care, sustainability of mission and ministry, pre-school education, youth ministry and disaster response.
The ELCA also funds signficant work through the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), a global communion of 140 churches (including the ELCA) and 68 million people that is grounded in a common Lutheran faith. The LWF provides space for Lutherans from around the world to share joys, challenges, and expertise as they seek the healing of the world. ELCA World Hunger funds help support the Department for World Service (DWS), the LWF’s relief and development arm, and the Department for Mission and Development (DMD), which focuses on holistic ministries through which the church participates in God’s mission to all creation.
ELCA World Hunger
funds support the LWF regional program of the Department of World Service in Honduras.
In the eastern department of Olancho and the southern department of Valle, this work focuses on:
- Organizing community-based agro-forestry businesses
- Promoting agricultural production from fruit trees and vegetable gardens
- Strengthening regional social movements
The ELCA also works in Honduras through Lutheran World Relief (LWR). A ministry of the ELCA, LWR is a U.S.- based agency that works with community-based partners in 50 countries. ELCA World Hunger funds help support the work that focuses on:
- helping farmers gain access to specialized markets
- working with communities to protect the environment
- providing resources for community-based micro-enterprises
- training farmers in agro-forestry, soil management, and quality control
- to promote peace and justice by training communities in advocacy skill to promote dialogue
- improving the advocacy skills of communities concerned about the environmental impacts of national policies
In addition, ELCA funds support Church World Service (CWS), which works in Honduras. Supported by 36 denominations, including the ELCA, CWS is a U.S.-based ecumenical organization that works with partners to eradicate hunger and poverty and to promote peace and justice around the world.
Honduras: The context in which the ICLH serves
The group of leaders with ELCA representatives
Honduras is the second poorest country in Central America, with a widely unequal distribution of income and persistent high levels of unemployment. Devastated by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, Honduras's long Caribbean coastline makes it especially vulnerable to the effects of hurricanes, tropical storms and depressions which are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of global climate changes.
Historically, the Honduran economy depended upon agricultural exports, principally bananas and coffee. Toward the end of the 20th century, it diversified its economy by becoming a regional center for the maquiladora
industry which produces textile and apparel goods for re-export to the U.S. More recently, however, maquiladoras
have begun leaving the country in search of even cheaper labor markets, throwing thousands of Hondurans – mostly women and youth – out of work.
Access to education remains a critical problem in Honduras. A deteriorating economy forces many children to work, rather than study, in order to help support their families. Massive emigration to the United States has made the country highly dependent on the remittances that workers send back to their relatives still living in Honduras. Reaching nearly $3 billion in 2008, remittances represent a quarter of the nation’s GNP and rival the combined value of all other export goods. The rising unemployment problem created by the closing of maquilas
and changing patterns in the global economy are likely to force even more Hondurans to emigrate.
Tragically, Hondurans have lived in a climate of violence for the better part of their existence of their nation. The newest expression of violence is “gang violence” which, in part, reflects international connections with other gangs in El Salvador and the U.S. and with organized drug trafficking. But the presence of violent youth gangs is also the result of a chronic lack of access to education, jobs, health care and decent housing.
For up-to-date information on Honduras, type “Honduras” into an online search engine or visit: