Worldwide, the Lutheran church grew by nearly 2 million people last year, according to a new report by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). As usual, Africa and Asia led the way, while Europe and North America continued to decline. 1.9 million people joined the Lutheran church in Africa (12.7 percent growth), and the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus is now the second largest Lutheran church body in the world (to the Church of Sweden). Over 100,000 people joined Lutheran churches in Asia (1.2 percent growth), while 300,000 left the church in Europe (0.78 percent) and 100,000 left in North America (1.23 percent).
The LCMS (drop of 0.9 percent) is not part of the LWF, because we don’t play well with others, so our numbers are not counted as part of the 68.3 million worldwide Lutherans reported in the article. The total number of Lutherans on the planet is estimated to be around 71.8 million