Project ID: ES0001-65031
With the 500th Anniversary of Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses, the Lutheran Mission in Spain pursues a unique second chance to bring the truth, freedom and joy of the pure Gospel to Spain, five centuries after the first Lutheran Reformation in Spain was snuffed out by the Spanish Inquisition.
The writings of Luther and other reformers arrived quickly in Spain, and the Reformation teaching convinced many Spaniards. Significant support for Luther’s teachings grew in several cities, including Valladolid and Seville, but in the 1540’s and 50’s the Spanish crown and the Inquisition crushed the reformation movement. Dozens of confessors were burned at the stake in Spain, and many more were imprisoned or fled the kingdom. With varying degrees of severity, Roman Catholicism was maintained as the only approved faith in Spain until the 1980’s, when the law against other confessions proselytizing was replaced with religious freedom.
The joint mission work started by the LCMS and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina in 2000 soon discovered that a strong but spiritually empty cultural Roman Catholicism and a rapidly secularizing society made for a very difficult mission field. Hard work and good Lutheran teaching by a series of three hard working Argentine pastors bore fruit in a church body of faithful and well catechized 70+ members.
As we enter 2018, the missionaries are now two LCMS pastors, David Warner and Adam Lehman. They, along with two Spanish pastors, three other men seeking to serve in the pastoral office, and a core of dedicated lay leaders, are building on the foundation built since 2000. In 2016 worship frequency was increased by more than double. They have since established the first permanent church building of the Spanish Evangelical Lutheran Church, (IELE), in Seville, one of the cities where the original Spanish Lutheran Reformation began. A suitable space has been located and rented, and work is underway to prepare it for use, both for worship and as office and study space. Better worship facilities and more visibility are also being sought in Madrid and Cartagena, the other two cities where we have small congregations.
In the meantime, the missionaries continue to travel and use internet teleconferencing to serve and teach the members scattered across 17 cities in Spain. The mission also benefits tremendously from occasional ministry tours by U.S. based Spanish speaking pastors, who expand our Word and Sacrament ministry and relieve pressure on our missionaries.
Checks should be made out to Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod or LCMS
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Mission Advancement
P.O. Box 66861
St. Louis, MO 63166-6861
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