What are Lutherans?

How Lutherans Got Started

Lutherans take their name from Martin Luther. He was a German priest who broke away from the Roman Catholic Church in the early 1500s. Luther's writing and teaching sparked the Protestant Reformation.

Martin Luther wished people would not be called Lutherans. But his enemies persisted, and so we 80 million Lutherans today are so identified.

We really don't mind. Just as a rose by any other name is still a rose, so a Lutheran by any other name is still a Lutheran.

Through his study of the Bible, Luther helped the Christian Church rediscover the truth that God is loving and that he offers forgiveness and eternal life as a free gift because of Jesus Christ.

Luther taught that people -โ€‘ no matter how hard they try โ€‘- cannot earn God's forgiveness or a place in heaven. It is a free gift that people receive through faith in Jesus Christ.