District Apostle Areas
There are currently 10.8 million New Apostolic Christians, all of whom belong to a District Church responsible for their area of residence. The District Churches, while legally independent, together comprise one church with a uniform doctrine and global presence, under the leadership of the chief apostle as the Church’s highest spiritual authority.
The District Churches in Germany are recognised by the authorities as public corporations, in Switzerland as independent associations, and in other states as legal entities of various forms in accordance with local law. The District Churches are led by district apostles who are appointed by the chief apostle. A district apostle may head several District Churches. Together, these comprise a district apostle area. Among these are the missionary regions mainly in Eastern and Southern Europe, Africa, Asia, as well as Central and South America.
The District Churches are divided into legally dependent congregations and districts. A congregation is a unit of members from a specific geographic area. It is led by a rector. Several congregations are grouped together under one district, which is led by a district leader.
The organisational, administrative, and legal obligations of the District Churches are regulated by statutes, which are drafted in accordance with the legal prescriptions of the various states. The German District Churches, for example, are divided into the following entities: the chief apostle, the national board of directors – comprised of the district apostle, the apostles, and bishops in its jurisdiction – as well as the national assembly to which the national board of directors and the district leaders belong.
The revenue of the District Churches consists of voluntary offerings and donations from its members as well as other contributions and returns. The church does not collect any taxes from its members. The funds of the church are used exclusively for performing church tasks. The chief apostle receives a copy of the annual statement of accounts signed by each district apostle, along with the auditing report of an accountant.