Lutheran Church elects new Archbishop ({{commentsTotal}})

EELK, the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church today named Urmas Viilma as its new head, after Andres Põder stepped down on Saturday after he turned 65, passing the maximum age set for the archbishop.

Viilma, who is currently the Chancellor of the church's consistory, received 32 votes in the 57-member Estonian Church Council in an election today. He was elected in the second round of voting after the first round failed to name a clear winner.

Viilma is only 41, having studied at the Institute of Theology in Tallinn before being ordained in 1993. He has also taught religion at schools for the past 20 years and held a number of jobs in the Church.

Bishop Einar Soone will continue as a caretaker until February 2, when Viilma is sworn in.

He is thought to be the most conservative of the candidates, after Joel Luhamets decided to pull out a few weeks ago.