Next year it will be 500 years since the German theologian, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg Castle Church (October 1517), setting in motion a series of events that would alter the course of world history forever, which we call the Reformation, but sadly there's not much to celebrate. For his legacy is all but lost.
Luther lived in darkened and harrowing times, the Church of his day was corrupt, Germany was weak, and the armies of Islam had conquered 75% of the old Christian world, Europe was next. After capturing Constantinople (the seat of the eastern, Byzantine/Greek Church) in 1453, Sultan Mehmed set his sights on Rome (the seat of the western, Roman / LatinChurch).
In 1480 he captured Otranto (in south-east Italy) and Rome was evacuated. Fortunately the Sultan died and his plans with him. However, undaunted Suleiman the Magnificent his successor laid siege to Vienna (Sept 1527). Were it not for freakish wet weather Vienna would have fallen to him, but the Turks were forced abandon most of their artillery, mired in the mud and head home to fight another day.
Had they succeeded Germany would have been next. Thankfully, God frustrated the Islamic advance while mercifully infusing life into Germany. As Islam faltered, the power of God was unleashed in Germany and Europe. The Reformation awakened Germans to divine grace, the priesthood of believers and a Biblical work ethic.
And Luther's radical teaching (for the time) on the primacy of the family as the God given foundation of all societies resulted in phenomenal spiritual revival and birth of science and technology that would make Christian Europe a force, before which Islam simply could not stand.
Forgetting the Islamic aggression four centuries earlier, Germany began to flirt with Islam. In the latter part of the 19th Century, Germany's leadership under Kaiser Wilhelm II and Max von Oppenheim proposed a strategic alliance with global Islam.
It was agreed that, in the event of war, the Ottoman Caliph would declare a jihad where Muslims would drive France out of Africa, Britain out of India, and Russia out of the Caucuses, paving the way for Germany and Islam to dominate the world. Strong German-Turkish ties were forged but ultimately the plot failed.
Unconcerned, Germany remained aligned with Islam during WWII, through a Nazi-Arab alliance committed to fighting the colonial powers of Britain and France, and ridding the world of 'lesser peoples' like Jews, Roma and Slavs.
After WW2, Europe moved to counter American dominance by creating a Euro-Arab Axis (Eurabia) which saw Europe's connections and exchanges with the Arab world multiply.
Meanwhile back at revolutionary headquarters German Communists were actively subverting the West by means of a (Mao-inspired) Long March through their institutions. Their aim: Cultural Revolution, to purge Judeo-Christian values and replace them with the moral and cultural relativism based on atheistic cultural Marxism. Where have we seen that before – Obama and his left wing mates must be using the same instruction manual?
The result of these two forces on Christianity in today's Germany has been devastating. Giulio Meotti reports (Gatestone Institute, 12 Oct 2016) that in the past decade, Catholics in Germany have closed 515 churches while the Protestants have closed 340. The numbers of baptisms and church weddings are in free fall. Formal apostasy is soaring while conversions are few.
As Giulio attests, 'religious decline is usually followed by a demographic one'. German fertility has collapsed and is now well below replacement rate. To replace the native population, Germany is taking in migrants - Muslim migrants. Germany's Die Welt estimates that Christians in Germany will be a minoritywithin 20 years. This is probably why UNESCO is running ads on German state-funded television encouraging German women to embrace the hijab now, before it's forced on them.
None of this bodes well for religious liberty and the safety of Christians in Germany. For a glimpse of what might lie ahead, one need only look into Germany's refugee shelters, where Christian asylum seekers are persecuted with impunity. A report by a group of German NGOs, led by Open Doors (OD) Germany, reveals shocking levels of persecution of Christians, of the 743 Christian refugees who spoke to OD, 617 (83%) reported multiple assaults, 314 (42%) death threats, 416 (56%) violent assaults and 44 (6%) sexual assaults.
While the government is setting up safe shelters for LGBTQI (the darlings of the Political Elites) asylum seekers , it continues to resist calls - even from police - to separate migrants according to religion, insisting segregation would go against Germany's multicultural values.
500 years later
Five hundred years later, forget about celebrating, we should be holding a funeral service for the death of Luther's legacy. For without reformation, revival and a miracle, Germany will be lost.
The Author would like to acknowledge the primary source of this article; Elizabeth Kendall who is an Adjunct Research Fellow in the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at the Melbourne School of Theology, and the Director of Advocacy at Canberra-based Christian Faith and Freedom.
Vic Matthews, has three degrees B.Optom, B.Arts& B. Christian Studies. He is a kiteboard tragic, who now works as a Christian Copywriter. He can be found at http://trustworthycopywriter.com/writing-services/christian-copywriter/
Vic Matthews' previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/vic-matthews.html