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Germany marks 500th anniversary of church’s Reformation

Visitors of the service sit in the All Saints' Church or Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, on Oct. 31, 2017. German leaders will mark the 500th anniversary of the day Martin Luther is said to have nailed his theses challenging the Catholic Church's practice of selling indulgences to a church door, a starting point of the Reformation. (Hendrik Schmidt/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — German leaders on Tuesday (Oct. 31) marked the 500th anniversary since the day Martin Luther is said to have nailed his theses challenging the Catholic Church to a church door, a starting point of the Reformation.


RELATED: Here he stood: Lutheran pilgrims travel to Germany on Reformation anniversary


German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier took part in a service in the famous Castle Church in Wittenberg, where Luther supposedly posted his 95 theses on Oct. 31, 1517.

Thousands were participating in different church services throughout the day in the eastern German town. The city also celebrated the anniversary with a medieval-style street festival that included arts and cultural events.

In remembrance of the 500th anniversary, Reformation Day is a public holiday in Germany this year.

As Protestantism spread after Luther’s revolt against the Catholic Church, religious wars erupted, dividing Western Christianity in a schism that resulted in hundreds of years of violence, persecution and discrimination.

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The Associated Press

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