Presentations from the schools about Reformation in their countries


On Monday morning we started with the traditional “Erzaehlcafe”. This year every country presented how Reformation has proceeded and influenced ecclesial communities, politics, education, art and daily life.

In the 16th century, Germany consisted of many principalities whose dukes were enabled to decide on their subjects religion. If the inhabitants did not want to adopt the denomination of their duke, they had to leave. First, most of Silesia, Upper Lusatia and Bohemia became protestant. As of the 17th century, the Counterreformation established under Habsburg rule and Catholicism promulgated again. This enmity was stopped with the Peace of Augsburg in 1555. From now on the Protestants were officially allowed to practice their religion.

Also the Czech lands were ruled by the Habsburgs. When Ferdinand I. tried to recatholicize Bohemia, he failed and promised no recatholicization, the repayment of debts and retaining the rights to the towns. The contention between Protestants – or rather Utraquists, because most Czechs followed Jan Hus – and Catholics got worse and churches were destroyed. In 1618 the second defenestration took place in Prague. This initiated the Czech War. Both denominations prepared for battle by arranging troops. On the 8th of November in 1620, the Catholics won the final Battle of White Mountain. Czech was recatholicized and Protestants left Bohemia.

After the war ended in 1945, Germans were dispersed, which led to a shift of the denominations. Nowadays Poland is mostly Catholic, as well as Czech Republic; most parts of Germany are Protestant. Bosnia and Herzegovina is religiously unaffiliated.

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