Living Legacy

The protestant churches in Germany and all over the world celebrate 500 years of Reformation. This event is inseparable from the year 1517 when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses in Wittenberg. Together with other reformers, he stood at the beginning of a movement that changed the world back then and is still impacting the faith, thinking and action of many Christians today. The legacy of the Reformation is alive to this day in the question of what kind of guidance faith in Christ provides.

From Wittenberg to Wuppertal

In a unique place, reformation tradition took shape in the 20th century. In the center of Wuppertal-Barmen, the Confessing Synod gathered in May 1934. It was there that the synod passed the Theological Declaration of Barmen. In opposition to the "Religious Movement of German Christians", it tried to protect faith and church in the face of a totalitarian German government and its National Socialist ideology.

Setting a sign

Walking through Barmen today, one looks in vain for traces of the Reformation. The results of a profound transformation of the social reality of urban life are striking. The church of Gemarke is a place where reconciliation is lived out. Unique in the world, the church and a synagogue have been next-door neighbors since 2002. This visualizes the redefinition of the relationship between Christians and Jews in the present. It is thus an unmistakable sign against the long and dark history of Antisemitism that has also continued from the Reformation into the post-1945 history.