On OCTOBER 31, 1517, an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther posted 95 debate questions on the door of Wittenberg Church, which began the movement known as ‘the Reformation.’
In 1521, 34-year-old Martin Luther was summoned to stand trial before the most powerful man in the world, 21-year-old Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
Charles V of Spain’s empire spanned nearly 2 million square miles across Europe, the Netherlands, the Far East, North and South America, and the Caribbean. The Philippine Islands were named after his son, King Philip II of Spain.
The sun never set on the Spanish Empire.
At the Diet of Worms, Charles V initially dismissed Luther’s theses as “an argument between monks” and simply declared Martin Luther an outlaw.
Martin Luther was hid by Frederick of Saxony in the Wartburg Castle, where he translated the New Testament into German.
Charles V’s unruly troops sacked Rome and imprisoned Pope Clement VII for six months.
This was the same Pope that refused to annul the marriage of Henry VIII and Charles’s aunt Catherine of Aragon, leading Henry break away from Rome and start the Church of England. (Catherine had been married for six months to Henry’s older brother Arthur before he died in 1502.)
Charles V oversaw the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and began the Counter-Reformation.
He eventually responded to the pleadings of the priest Bartolome’ de Las Casas and outlawed the enslavement of native Americans.
Gold from the New World was used by Spain to push back the Muslim Ottoman Empire’s invasion of Europe.
Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent’s Ottoman fleet dominated the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.
Suleiman conquered into Christian Hungary, Christian Serbia, and Christian Austria, in addition to controlling the Middle East and North Africa.
In 1529, 35-year-old Suleiman the Magnificent sent 100,000 Muslim Turks to surround Vienna, Austria.
Martin Luther wrote: “The Turk is the rod of the wrath of the Lord our God… If the Turk’s god, the devil, is not beaten first, there is reason to fear that the Turk will not be so easy to beat…Christian weapons and power must do it…”
Martin Luther continued:
“(The fight against the Turks) must begin with repentance, and we must reform our lives, or we shall fight in vain.
(The Church should) drive men to repentance by showing our great and numberless sins and our ingratitude, by which we have earned God’s wrath and disfavor, so that He justly gives us into the hands of the devil and the Turk.”
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