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Lutheranism
Lutherrose

Religion

Christianity

Origin

1517, Saxony, Baltic League

Lutheranism is a major branch of Protestant Christianity which identifies with the theology of Martin Luther (1483-1546), Saxon friar, ecclesiastical reformer and theologian. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Catholic Church launched the Protestant Reformation in much of the Baltic League.

Beginning with the Ninety-Five Theses, first published in 1517, Luther's writings were disseminated internationally, spreading the early ideas of the Reformation beyond the influence and control of the Roman Curia. The split between the Lutherans and the Catholics was made public and clear with the 1521 Edict of Worms: The edicts of the Diet condemned Luther and officially banned members of the Catholic churches from defending or propagating his ideas, subjecting advocates of Lutheranism to forfeiture of all property. The divide centered primarily on two points: the proper source of authority in the church, often called the formal principle of the Reformation, and the doctrine of justification, often called the material principle.

Lutheranism advocates a doctrine of justification "by grace alone through faith alone on the basis of Scripture alone", the doctrine that scripture is the final authority on all matters of faith. This is in contrast to the belief of the Catholic Church, defined at the Council of Trent, concerning authority coming from both the Scriptures and Tradition. In addition, Lutheranism accepts the teachings of the first four ecumenical councils of the undivided Christian Church.

Unlike the Reformed tradition, Lutherans retain many of the liturgical practices and sacramental teachings of the pre-Reformation Church, with a particular emphasis on the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper. Lutheran theology differs from Reformed theology in Christology, the purpose of God's Law, the divine grace, the concept of perseverance of the saints, and predestination.

Today, Lutheranism is the largest denomination of Protestantism, with approximately 300 million adherents, 90 million of which are found in Aloia. The Lutheran Council, the largest communion of Lutheran churches, represents over 220 million people. Many more Lutherans exist in churches outside the Lutheran Council. Lutheran presence in a region is often an indicator of historic ties to Aloia, the home nation of Luther and the nation with the most Lutherans and strongest Lutheran heritage. Lutheranism has its strongest hold in the Baltic region, with Aloia, Arveyres, and Texania hosting the world's largest Lutheran churches.

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