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Religion in Germany has always had a different character from the rest of Europe Due to the fragmented nature of the German landscape before its unification Germany has a unique balance between Catholic and Protestant forces Lutheranism coming as it did from Germany is a major force in German religion and the German identity The teachings of Luther and the peculiar national identity that those teachings in part inspired the mindset which allowed the Third Reich to flourish in Germany The impact of the reformation the peculiarities of a state-supported religion and other factors in the history of the German church gave religion in Germany its unique tone and impact Luther taught Germans that governance by secular authorities was necessary and was created by the will of God for the implementation of law and order Luther believed that the order provided by a strong government was necessary to the spread of Christianity for without such order anarchy would prevail preventing the methodical spread of Christian ideals Thus he taught that the duty of individual Christians was to serve the state as it required and to regard his service as a form of worshipping his MakerCraig 84 This belief integrated itself well with the philosophies of Hegel Fichte who also argued for the necessity of the state imposing itself upon the individual becoming part of the German ideal of subservience to the state and eventually fostering the mindset that embraced the fascism of the Nazi Party and Hitler Luther himself argued against the revolts spurred by his teachings seeing their failure as a judgment from God Craig 84 Calvinist forces in Brandenberg-Prussia served to reinforce these beliefs bringing with the merger of the Calvinist and Lutheran Churches a new belief in the science of government and a new fervor for the principle of active support and subservience to the state The Catholic Church suffered waning influence and shrinking congregations due to the growth
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