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Lutherans contribute to Brazilian society: seminary president

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Professor Gerson Linden’s lecture on Lutheranism in South America was part of Reformation celebrations at Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton.

EDMONTON – Lutherans have contributed to Brazil’s socio-political-economic culture during the past 100-plus years, says a South American seminary president.

Rev. Gerson Linden, director of Seminário Concórdia, São Leopoldo, Brazil, recently told students, faculty and friends of Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton, (CLS), that Lutherans have also contributed to the public expressions of Christian spirituality and to the country’s ecumenical dialogue with Roman Catholics and Pentecostals.

The comments were made during a lecture titled “Luther(anism) in South America,” and during Reformation celebrations at the end of October.

Linden also talked about Igreja Evangélica Luterana do Brasil (IELB), the Brazilian Lutheran synod that is in fellowship with Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC).

The seminary is located 29 kilometres from the Lutheran University of Brazil (ULBRA), which employs 11 faculty and dozens of students.

The ULBRA includes 17 schools, kindergarten to high school, and 16 colleges. More than 150,000 students attend, including 80,000 through distance education.

The ULBRA has its own TV station and runs religion classes, too.
Lutheranism gained its foothold in Brazil during the late 19th century, thanks in part to The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS). It has thrived since the IELB’s creation in 1904.

During a festive Reformation worship service, Linden shared his message with members of Edmonton’s Grace Lutheran Church and other area Lutherans.

Each year, CLS will hold special events leading up to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which takes place in 2017.

For 2010, CLS is making arrangements for a Roman Catholic to talk about how Catholics in North America see Luther today.

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