Luherans to Ask Forgiveness for Past Persecutions of Anabaptists -- Mennonite response to include gift from Nickle Mine Community
An Action toward Reconciliation with Anabaptists
The most prominent ecumenical action at the July 2010Lutheran World Federation Assembly will be the request for forgiveness—first from God, and then from Mennonite brothers and sisters from the Anabaptist tradition. With theological support from such leaders as Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon, Lutherans in the 16th century violently persecuted and even executed Anabaptists. These actions remain vivid in Anabaptist memory.
Results of the Lutheran – Mennonite International Study Commission (2005-2008) provide common perspectives on this painful history and allow Lutherans to recognize not only past wrongs but also “inappropriate, misleading, and hurtful portraits” of Anabaptists to the present day. Based on this study, the LWF Council in October 2009 unanimously approved the request for forgiveness. While important theological differences remain, these can be explored in a new atmosphere when the legacy of the persecutions is addressed.
In this action, the LWF prays “that God may grant to our communities a healing of our memories and reconciliation.” Mennonites have indicated that they are eager to respond. This action by the Lutheran communion to address faithfully a sorrowful legacy has significance for the entire Body of Christ.
Further information will be made avialable Thursday morning 08:00 in Stuttgart that is currently embargoed information.
More details are available at
The event is streamed from the same website and scheduled for the afternoon of thursday here (between 16:30 and 18:00), early morning EDT
Text of the statement:
The Rev. John R. Spangler
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
And Co-opted Staff for LWF Assembly, Stuttgart, Germany