Protestants denounce Luther’s hate
GERMANY’S PROTESTANT church has acknowledged the antisemitism of founder Martin Luther and pledged to confront the issue by the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, in 2017.
The announcement came during the church’s annual Synod, days after Germany’s most senior Jewish leader, Josef Schuster, had raised the issue in an address to its 120 delegates.
In a unanimous decision last Wednesday, the EKD Synod renounced Luther’s virulent anti-Jewish proclamations and said that the “history of guilt” could not be ignored.
The German theologian Martin Luther called for Jews to be driven from their homes. In his 1543 text On the Jews and their Lies, he referred to them as a “base” people and urged his followers to burn down synagogues.
The Synod said that Luther’s attitudeshadbrought“sorrowandshame” to the church. In their statement, the members pledged to combat modern antisemitism and to confront the Jewhate in Protestant history.