Advocacy. Human rights. Justice. Peace. Religious freedom.

Advocacy is an LWF priority. We understand that holistic mission includes proclamation, service, and advocacy.

We aim to be a reliable and effective voice for justice, peace, and human rights. We want our member churches to have strong capacities for public witness on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed people.

We bring to an international stage the grassroots experiences of our member churches and country programs. 

Service and advocacy reinforce each other. Our diaconal experience gives credibility to our advocacy. When our advocacy is successful, it leads to greater opportunities for service.

The Lutheran World Federation has adopted seven priorities for global advocacy: religious freedom and interfaith relations; climate change and environmental protection; gender justice; refugees, internally displaced people and other forced migrants; oppressed minorities and indigenous people; economic justice; and HIV and AIDS. One body through which the LWF promotes justice and human rights is the United Nations.

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Speak out on justice issues that have arisen in your community


Faith and Protection

LWF participation in the 2012 UNHCR's Dialogue on Faith and Protection offered an example of the potential for our advocacy.  The dialogue brought together faith leaders to consider what faith says about protection of refugees and other forced migrants. We are representing the Christian voice in the dialogue’s follow-up.

Office for International Affairs and Human Rights

OIAHR coordinates LWF public policy development and orchestrates its advocacy. We represent the LWF and undertake advocacy on behalf of the communion in the United Nations and other international forums. We act as a focal point on international affairs and human rights for staff, member churches, and partners.


LWF member churches

Our member churches have a fundamental concern for the vulnerable and oppressed. They are witness to, and sometimes their members are victims of, violence, injustice and exclusion in many parts of the world. Their members suffer along with the communities in which they minister.  As churches they are called to respond to such situations with God’s message of love, peace and reconciliation.

LWF World Service country programs

Our World Service country and regional programs serve vulnerable people, without discrimination.  They are witness to situations of injustice and use a rights-based approach.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

We are one of UNHCR’s oldest and largest implementing partners. We work with UNHCR to improve humanitarian policy and practice.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

 As an accredited non-governmental organization (NGO), we have the opportunity to bring matters of human rights concern to the UN.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

We hold a priority relationship with this body.

Ecumenical Advocacy Partners

We coordinate our advocacy efforts especially closely with the World Council of Churches, ACT Alliance, and the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.  

Institutional Partners

We implement advocacy projects funded by different institutional partners such as the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

    • Norad is the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. The Agency is a directorate under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In matters regarding Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), Norad reports to the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment. Norad’s main purpose is to ensure that Norwegian development aid funds are spent in the best possible way, and to report on what works and what does not work.
    • Norad and the LWF have signed a Grant Agreement for a project Promoting Inter-Religious Tolerance and Culture of Peace in Ethiopia.

Norad Funding - Specific Conditions 2018-2019

Collaboration with other LWF departments

The Office for International Affairs and Human Rights provides advice for the Department for World Service, and for the regional area secretaries in the Department for Mission and Development.

LWF advocacy milestones