Germans remember Reformation Day


Central Europe


The statue of German reformer Martin Luther stands in Wittenberg, eastern Germany. Photo AFP, Jens Wolf

Across Germany, where Protestantism started, people celebrate Reformation Day on Monday. “It is a day of freedom and confidence”.

In the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation, the German town of Wittenberg, thousands are expected to celebrate Reformation Day with church services, devotions, concerts and a historic market. At the festive service in the town church, the regional bishop of the Protestant Church in Central Germany, Friedrich Kramer, preaches. In the Castle Church, it is the Chairwoman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Annette Kurschus. Luther's 95 theses will also be heard in the city - spoken and explained by Wittenbergers.

Wittenberg is considered the place of origin of the Reformation. On October 31st, 1517, the theologian Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses against the sale of indulgences to the door of the Castle Church. In doing so, he criticized the Church's practice of buying oneself free from sins. The posting of the theses is considered the beginning of the Reformation in church and society.

The red states have a day off on Reformation Day. Photo EKD

But Wittenberg is not the only place in Germany where the Reformation is remembered. In a total of nine federal states, people can look forward to a day off on Reformation Day. In the seven other federal states, which are not predominantly Protestant, it is a working day. As CNE reported earlier, most Germans want Reformation Day to become an official holiday.


In the city of Hamburg, located in northern Germany, many museums can be visited free of charge. Reformation Day has been an official holiday in Hamburg since 2018. According to Social Democrat Carsten Brosda, Reformation Day in Hamburg is "also the day of the museums".

In southern Bavaria, the Protestant Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm described the forthcoming Reformation Day as a "day of freedom" and at the same time as a sign of confidence. This reports Die Zeit. Bedford-Strohm will celebrate Reformation Day this Monday (October 31) with a service in Coburg in the Moriz Church. And that is definitely a place with symbolic power, as the reformer himself preached here: Martin Luther arrived in Coburg on Good Friday 1530 and spent five months here. He was travelling to the Reichstag in Augsburg, but continuing through Catholic territory seemed too dangerous for the time being, since he was under an imperial ban. Coburg offered him refuge, while co-reformer Melanchton was in Augsburg.


Not only the Germans commemorate Reformation Day. In Russia, the Nizhny Novgorod church "Embassy of Jesus" organised an evening dedicated to the work of Luther last Saturday. They also watched a movie about the reformer Zwingli.

In predominantly Catholic Spain, an institutional act to remember Reformation Day took place for the first time. In Huelva province, evangelical leaders met with representatives of the province to speak about the "value and influence of the Protestant Reformation".



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