Lutherans: A Move Toward Unity

Ever since the 1830s, when sectionalism and new waves of immigration began to splinter American Lutheranism, denominational unity has seemed an all but unattainable dream. Ethnic, political and doctrinal differences have frustrated efforts toward ecumenism; by the turn of the century there were 21 separate Lutheran church groups in the U.S. But the goal of unity remained. Last month it became more attainable than ever when the dogmatically conservative Lutheran Church/Missouri Synod (2.8 million U.S. members) narrowly voted to accept "altar and pulpit fellowship" with the slightly more liberal American Lutheran...

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