By Robert John
During October, we happen to observe many weird traditions because of Halloween. For example, why do we even celebrate this day on October 31st? What is the deal with carving pumpkins? And why do people insist on handing out fruits and vegetables to trick or treaters? Part of the answers to these questions all come from some historical event that lead to what we now observe as Halloween. In fact, you can track the stories down to old Irish traditions and folk tales that happened long ago. But there is also another holiday that is celebrated on the 31st of October known as Reformation Day. Reformation is perhaps lesser known, as it is commonly only observed in Protestant Churches. So what is this day and why does it exist?
In 1517, a German monk by the name of Martin Luther changed the events of the world through the nailing on a door. During this time, the Roman Catholic Church had a large influence over the religious culture of Europe. They had used their power over people to force them into buying indulgences, which were simply tiny slips of paper, to gain forgiveness of their sins and lessen their punishment. This goes against the Bible, so Luther decided to nail all 95 of his problems with the Catholic Church on their door. Instead, he argued that salvation came through faith alone. Luther was a smart man, so he intentionally nailed the theses (his 95 problems) on October 31st, which is the day before All Saints Day. Therefore, many high ranking spiritual leaders would notice. His influence from this event radically increased, and it lead a revolution known as the Protestant Reformation.
Nowadays, there are over an estimated 45,000 different Christian denominations globally, stated by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. During 1517, there were only 2 known denominations: Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. Martin Luther’s actions to essentially give rise to the Protestant Reformation changed not only America, but the whole world.