Inter-Religious Policy Statement

A DECLARATION OF INTER-RELIGIOUS COMMITMENT:
A POLICY STATEMENT OF THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA

You are invited to read “A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment: A policy statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,” which was adopted at the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.

BACKGROUND

In 1991, the second churchwide assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) adopted the policy statement “A Declaration of Ecumenical Commitment: A policy statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,” which called for a “separate, official statement to describe [the ELCA’s] commitments and aspirations” in the area of inter-religious relations.

Twenty-five years later, in August 2016, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton appointed the Inter-Religious Task Force to carry out this mandate: Patricia J. Lull (chair), Kathryn Mary Lohre (staff), Katie Bringman Baxter, Jacqueline Bussie, Elizabeth A. Eaton, Rahuldeep Singh Gill, William Horne, Darrell H. Jodock, Carol Schersten LaHurd, Peg Schultz-Akerson, Mark Swanson, and Lamont Anthony Wells.

A first draft was developed by fall 2017. Input received from preliminary review with ecumenical and inter-religious partners and other key leadership groups in 2017, as well as public review across the church in 2018, greatly informed the task force’s revisions. 

The final draft was presented to the ELCA Conference of Bishops in October 2018, and to the ELCA Church Council in November 2018. Strongly encouraged by the Conference of Bishops, the ELCA Church Council unanimously recommended the proposed policy statement for adoption by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly. “A Declaration of Ecumenical Commitment,” “Declaration of the ELCA to the Jewish Community” (1994) and “A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment” together form the policy basis for the ecumenical and inter-religious relations of the ELCA.

ACTION OF THE 2019 CHURCHWIDE ASSEMBLY, AUG. 8, 2019

Voting members who gathered at the 2019 Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee overwhelmingly approved the proposed policy statement “A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment: A policy statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.”

In favor — 890 (97.48%)            Opposed — 23 (2.52%)