Luther's spiritual heirs face uncertain future

"We're fighting all the way"
Faced with declining membership, dwindling income and more demands to provide community services, Germany’s Protestants see an overwhelming challenge ahead of them.

In search of inspiration, some 300 church members traveled last month to Wittenberg, the town where Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in 1517, for a workshop to map out their future. Attendees brainstormed on structure, financing and how to make the church that Luther built viable for the 21st century.

They met as part of a “Future Congress,” officially titled “A Church for Freedom: Perspectives for the Evangelical Church in the 21st Century.” Freedom seemed a part of every sentence uttered at this conference, but finance might have been a more appropriate catchword.


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