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Group of MPs submit amendment stating that ELCL is only successor to Lutheran Church of Latvia that existed before 1940
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    Group of MPs submit amendment stating that ELCL is only successor to Lutheran Church of Latvia that existed before 1940

    RIGA, April 16 (LETA) - Several Saeima members, who represent all political groups in the parliament, have submitted an amendment according to which the state recognizes legal continuity of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia (ELCL) and sees it as the only successor to the Lutheran Church of Latvia before 1940.

    The proposed amendment to the Law on the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia states the above, as well as mentions that the ELCL was formed as a result of the Reformation in the 16th century, before the State of Latvia was proclaimed, and that the ELCL's activity continued during the occupations of Latvia.

    The amendment also relieves the ELCL from paying the state fee for registering ownership rights in the Land Register in case of transfer of ownership rights between the ELCL and a Lutheran parish, or other institutions that are part of the church. Finally, the amendment stipulates that if a parish decides to quit the ELCL, this will be considered as individual parish members leaving the parish, and the parish will be liquidated.

    The bill's preamble explains that the ELCL is referred to as the "church of the Soviet Latvia" in several legal disputes, as a result, there are "unnecessary and unjustified discussions" that are offending to "more than 700,000 Lutheran believers in Latvia".

    In order for the ELCL to not have to "prove the obvious", namely, that the ELCL is the same Lutheran Church that existed in Latvia before 1940, an "authoritative explanation of the juridical essence of the law is necessary, which would be unambiguous and precise."

    The preamble says that the amendment has been approved by the ELCL Council of Bishops. It also says that work is under way at the moment to unite the German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Latvia with the ELCL.

    The amendment has been submitted to Saeima by MPs Ringolds Balodis, Hosams Abu Meri (Unity), Nellija Kleinberga (Association of Regions), Gaidis Berzins (National Alliance), Augusts Brigmanis (Greens/Farmers), Imants Paradnieks (National Alliance), Gunars Kutris (For Latvia from the Heart), and Julija Stepanenko (Harmony).

    • Published: 16.04.2018 13:41
    • Ainārs Leijējs, LETA
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