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The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is a global association of national and regional Lutheran churches headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The federation was founded in the aftermath of the Second World War in 1947 to coordinate the activities of the many differing Lutheran denominations. As such it is not itself a distinct denomination, but rather a sort of umbrella organization.
The LWF now has 140 member church bodies in 78 countries representing 65.9 million of the world's 69.5 million Lutherans. The LWF acts on behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and development work.
The Department for World Service (DWS) is the internationally recognized humanitarian and development agency of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) working with marginalized and disadvantaged communities in the areas of greatest vulnerability and endemic need. In these efforts, DWS cooperates within global networks that include ecumenical, governmental and non-governmental partners.
With field programs in 37 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin and Central America and Europe, DWS has a distinguished record of compassionate and professional response, and effective long-term development programs. Its efforts reach out to all who are in need without distinction of ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality or political conviction.