The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia (LELB) is a Lutheran Protestant church in Latvia. Latvia’s Lutheran heritage dates back to the Reformation. Both the Nazi and communist regimes persecuted the church harshly before religious freedom returned to Latvia in 1988.The Church is governed by a Consistory composed of clergy and laity elected by the synod. The Archbishop serves as its president. Archbishop Jānis Vanags, first elected in 1993 at a special synod meeting following the untimely death of Archbishop Kārlis Gailīitis in 1992, was consecrated bishop on August 29, 1993 by the Archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Sweden. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia reports as of 2006 that there are 113 pastors and 86 evangelists serving its 293 congregations with a total membership of 333,700.