The actions of a group of German church members in 1934 to resist the Nazi regime still serve as a powerful model for churches today according to the head of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, But there is a dark side to the story, too.
The combined membership in churches of the Lutheran World Federation rose by 141,792 in 2008 to reach a global total just under 68.5 million - but churches in Europe and North America again experienced decline.
People in the poorest countries are being forced into poverty by having to repay hundreds of millions of dollars of illegitimate loans from wealthy Western countries to greedy dictators, an international conference has heard.
The Lutheran World Federation has welcomed the decision by the Church of England to consecrate women as bishops, for its potential to enrich church life and in particular “for its immediate consequences in ecumenical relations”.
What can churches and religious bodies do that ecological groups are not doing? Can they engage on the issue without merely replicating what is happening in secular society? These are questions global Lutherans have been asking.
As the State of Israel marked the 60th anniversary of its founding, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) made an unequivocal statement against anti-Semitism but also urged full recognition of the rights of the Palestinians.
The presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, who is also president of the Lutheran World Federation, Geneva, has responded positively to letter sent to him and global Christian leaders by 138 Muslim world leaders.
Religious communities can and do make a positive contribution to peace and justice in Africa, say diplomatic representatives meeting with Nordic church leaders at an interfaith meeting on women's development priorities.