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This year’s commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation is unlike most other previous commemorations. Many previous anniversaries were characterized by looking backward to celebrate and reassert what makes Lutherans and other Protestant traditions different from Roman Catholicism. This year Lutherans and Roman Catholics are looking back and looking forward together.

Racism – a mix of power, privilege, and prejudice – is sin, a violation of God’s intention for humanity. The resulting racial, ethnic, or cultural barriers deny the truth that all people are God’s creatures and, therefore, persons of dignity. Racism fractures and fragments both church and society. [The ELCA’s social statement, Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity and Culture].

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