Latin American and the Caribbean

The Lutheran churches of Latin America and the Caribbean have heard the cry of the poor. Although a minority denomination in an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic region, these churches have responded by providing a holistic ministry that serves the community and blends word and sacrament with advocacy and diaconal ministries in human rights, gender and economic justice, education, health, climate change, immigration and human trafficking.

The ELCA accompanies companion churches and institutions in 18 countries across this region through the allocation of grants and/or placement of mission personnel, and in close collaboration with The Lutheran World Federation, Lutheran World Relief, and Church World Service. Five of these countries are in the Caribbean, where churches established by slave and plantation owners to serve an expatriate population today are thriving multicultural, indigenous churches.

Leaders in this region have asked the ELCA to accompany them in programs that develop leaders, build capacity, and strengthen Lutheran identity, the better to present a viable alternative in a pluralistic religious environment. Twenty-six companion synod relationships connect Latin American and Caribbean companions with ELCA synods. Advocacy in Washington, D.C., is a strong focus of these relationships. When requested by companion churches, ELCA synods, congregations and ELCA staff work diligently with the ELCA Washington Office on issues that have an impact on this region.

Learn how to support global companions in Latin America and the Caribbean by clicking here