The ecclesiastical roots reach back to the 10th century, when with the formation of the Mark Meissen and the foundations of the dioceses the mission activity began among the Slavs.
The first churches were erected under the protection of the castles, for instance the St. Nikolai Church, which was first mentioned about 1100 and later named Church of the Holy Cross, near the river Elbe on the area of today’s Dresden. Market settlements developed into towns such as Meissen, Leipzig, Chemnitz, Zwickau or Bautzen. The spiritual centre was the Meissen Cathedral, which is still a bishop’s church today.
Owing to silver finds and the extension of mining, prosperous towns and the prerequisite for a future heyday of craftsmanship and industry developed. The Saxon Electors, first of all Friedrich August I. (August the Strong), knew how to show their claim to representation and culture in a unique way with the help of this material basis.
Up to and including today, the form of organisation and the degree of self-determination of the church have also depended on the social circumstances. Proceeding from Martin Luther’s doctrine and the commencements of Reformation in the Ernestine Saxony (Wittenberg), Reformation came to the Albertine Saxony in 1539, too. Saxony has been a heartland of Reformation and Lutheranism ever since.
After the First World War, the end of monarchy led to the separation of church and state and, in 1922, to the election of the first State Bishop. The Saxon regional church owes its number of members to the more folk-church-influenced Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge) with its pietistic tradition and to the socio-political commitment of the Christians in the secularised cities and areas of Saxony. For a long time, there have been close ecumenical connections between the Lutheran regional church and the Roman-Catholic Church. The Moravian brethren have members and friends beyond the Lausitz area.