How the Protestant Reformation affected Jews

In the early 16th century, life for the Jews remained unstable as they faced violence perpetrated by the Catholic church. After years of devotion, Martin Luther sparked one of the largest revolutions in the history of Christianity, when he criticized the Catholic church by publishing “The 95 Theses.” His proposed new movement, Protestantism, was aimed at returning Christians to their biblical roots.

Martin Luther felt that this all-encompassing brand of Christianity would unite everyone, including Jews. However when Jewish people wouldn’t convert to Protestantism, Luther’s response set off a chain reaction of antisemitic rhetoric. His writings have been used for centuries as a justification for antisemitism, permanently altering the course of history for European Jews.

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