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Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

largest denomination

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, U.S. religious denomination formed in 1988 by the merger of the Lutheran Church in America, the American Lutheran Church, and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches. Based in Chicago, it is the largest Lutheran denomination and the fourth largest Protestant church in the United States, with 65 synods (regional units), mostly in the East and Midwest, each headed by a bishop, and a total membership of about 5.3 million. The church supports minority participation and ordains women. Like its precursors, it maintains extensive national and international missions and education programs.

See also: Lutherans.

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