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Lutheranism is a major Protestant denomination which originated as a 16th-century movement It was led by Martin Luther Luther was a German Augustinian monk and professor of theology He originally planned to reform the Western Christian church Because Luther and his followers were excommunicated by the pop however Lutheranism developed in a number of separate national and territorial churches This indicated the breakup of the organizational unity of Western Christendom The largest Protestant denomination in the world is Lutheranism with about 80 million members According to the teachings of Lutheranism a human being is considered a sinner and is unable to contribute to their liberation Salvation is not dependent of worthiness or merit but is a gift of Gods grace Lutherans believe that faith in God is the only way to salvation To Lutherans baptism is the signification of Gods unconditional love From the beginning the methods of worship in the Lutheran church diverged from those of the Roman Catholic church The only two out of the seven sacraments that the Lutherans worshiped were baptism and Eucharist The language they worshiped was conducted in the language of the people instead of in Latin They were really in to congregational participation such as singing and worship In the Lutheran celebration of Eucharist the bread and wine were given to everyone unlike the Roman Catholics who gave it only to the priests The European Lutheran churches are closely tied to their respective governments as established churches Political events greatly influenced the early development of Lutheranism Because the empire was being threatened by the Turks emperor Charles V was unable to suppress Lutheranism The movement continued to spread despite the Edict of Worms which placed the Lutherans under imperial ban Intermittent religious wars followed ending in the Peace of Augsburg which to a certain extent sanctioned Lutheran churches The reform movement called Pietism which began in the late 17th century stressed individual conversation and a devout way
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