Lutheran vs. Anglican: Understanding the Differences

Key Difference – Lutheran vs Anglican

Lutheranism and Anglicanism are two denominations within Christianity that originated from the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. Lutheran is the oldest Protestant denomination and traces its origins to the reforms introduced by German monk Martin Luther in 1521. Anglicanism, on the other hand, can be traced back to the reforms in the Church of England. The followers of these two denominations are called Lutherans and Anglicans, respectively.

What is Lutheran?

Lutheranism was founded by German monk Martin Luther, who introduced reforms to the Roman Catholic Church in 1521, in the form of The 95 Theses. Lutherans belong to a separate denomination called the Lutheran Church, and their faith is referred to as Lutheranism. Martin Luther felt that many practices within the Church during his time were inconsistent with the scriptures, particularly the Holy Bible. He wanted to reform the Church from within, but his ideas were opposed and rejected by the clergy of the time. This led his followers to create a separate church for themselves. Today, there are more than 66 million Lutherans worldwide, making them the most significant denomination among Protestants.

What is Anglican?

Anglicanism refers to Christians who are members of the Anglican Church or the Anglican Communion. The term “Anglican” comes from “Anglo-Saxon,” which generally means English. Therefore, the Church of England is often referred to as the Anglican Church. Today, the Anglican Church comprises many different churches and is considered a reformed Catholic Church rather than a Protestant Church. The three major characteristics that distinguish the Anglican Church from other churches are primacy of the Bible for decisions on doctrines, belief in Christian hierarchy, and belief in reasoning and flexibility in thinking. These features are what make Anglicanism a stool with three legs: scriptures, traditions, and reason.

What is the difference between Lutheran and Anglican?

Definitions of Lutherans and Anglicans:

  • Lutherans: Lutherans are the followers of Martin Luther, the German monk who introduced reforms to the Roman Catholic Church in 1521, in the form of The 95 Theses.
  • Anglicans: Anglican refers to a Christian who is a member of the Anglican Church or the Anglican Communion.


  • Lutherans: Lutherans are the oldest reformists and are considered the first of Protestants.
  • Anglicans: Anglicans are not Protestants but reformed Catholics.


  • Lutherans: The Lutheran Church is credited to Martin Luther of Germany.
  • Anglicans: The Anglican Church is credited to King Henry of England.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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