Protes­tants de­nounce Luther’s hate

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY TOBY AX­EL­ROD

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.

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