500th anniversary of the Reformation
Market square in Wittenberg
© Marko Schoeneberg
On 31 October 2017 it will be 500 years since Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses. Looking towards this anniversary, the launch of the Luther Decade was celebrated in 2008. The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and state institutions are cooperating in planning and organizing the Decade. The Reformation is a crucial event in world history which has had an impact in all continents. The great Reformers – Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli, Calvin, and others – are among the prime sources of ideas in religious and intellectual history who also had a political impact.
The Luther Decade will cover the broad range of topics relating to the Reformation in so‑called “theme years”. In part, these are linked to historic anniversaries. For instance, the motto for 2010 was “Reformation and Education”, commemorating the 450th anniversary of the death of Melanchthon, the “Praeceptor Germaniae”, or “teacher of Germany”. However, the Decade also aims to pick up impulses from the Reformation which are felt right up to the present day. The theme for 2013, “Reformation and Tolerance”, will look at ecumenical common ground and tolerance, but also at the intolerant sides of the Reformation, which must not be ignored.
Federal Foreign Office projects
Minister of State Cornelia Pieper invited foreign Ambassadors on a trip to Luther memorial sites in Thuringia (Wartburg Castle, Erfurt) and Saxony-Anhalt (Lutherstadt Wittenberg) in December 2011, and Saxony (Zwickau, Leipzig, Torgau) and Saxony-Anhalt (Halle) in October 2012.
In June 2012, at an event in the Felleshus of the Nordic embassies in Berlin, Minister of State Pieper presented Luther statues by the artist Ottmar Hörl to the Ambassadors of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
In November 2012, launching the “Reformation and Tolerance” theme year, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Poland organized a debate on ways to resist injustice with former Prime Minister Mazowiecki and the former EKD Council Chairman, Bishop Huber, in the presence of the late Cardinal Glemp; the event was prompted by the recent publication of the German translation of a book about Wrocław-born Lutheran Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Ein Christ im Dritten Reich”.
Last updated 25.01.2013