A new reformation?

Published March 1, 2007

Wittenberg, Germany
German Protestants gathered Jan. 25-27 in Wittenberg, the town where Martin Luther launched the Reformation five centuries ago, to consider how to strengthen the profile of Protestantism in Germany.

“We are at a point of no return,” said Bishop Wolfgang Huber, who heads the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), the country’s main Protestant grouping, speaking at the end of the congress that assembled more than 300 delegates.

The EKD has said that if it does not act now, then by 2030 it will have lost a third of its members and 50 percent of its income. Currently there are about 25 million Protestants, or less than a third of Germany’s 82 million people, within the EKD.  

“At the centre of all Reformation has to be the Sunday service,” Bishop Huber stated in a speech opening the congress at the Wittenberg church where Luther in 1517 is said to have posted the 95 theses that led to the Reformation. “We have to concentrate on our spiritual capacity and our Christian mission,” he said, noting that preaching was at the centre of Luther’s message.  

The Wittenberg meeting followed the publication of a 110-page document last July outlining reform proposals. These included cutting the number of regional churches grouped under the EKD umbrella from the current 23 to a maximum of 12, something that generated criticism from leaders of member churches. Bishop Huber told journalists he hoped regional churches would discuss ways of merging or strengthening co-operation.


Keep on reading

Skip to content