Reformation Day to be marked in Slovenia

Reformation Day to be marked in Slovenia


Review by Christos T. Panagopoulos –

Reformation Day, a bank holiday in honour of the 16th-century Reformation and Protestant movement, which brought Slovenians their first books, will be marked in Slovenia tomorrow. The main ceremony, organised by the Protestant Association Primož Trubar, will be held in Kranj tonight, with PM Bratušek delivering the keynote.

Reformation Day, which has been observed in Slovenia since 1992, marks the day in 1517 when German priest Martin Luther made public “The Ninety-Five Theses”, which sparked the Protestant Reformation.

Following the example of Martin Luther in Germany, the Reformation movement shook Slovenians with Protestant reforms. The central figure of Protestantism in Slovenia was Primož Trubar (1508-1586), who wrote more than 25 books, or half of all the books written by Slovenian Protestants.

In 1550, he wrote “Cathecism”, which was the first book in Slovenian and the first printed Slovenian book alongside his spelling book “Abecedarium”, which complements it.

Although the Reformation movement was launched almost 500 year ago, its spirit is still fairly present in Slovenia, according to Viktor Žakelj, the president of the Protestant Association Primož Trubar, and Bishop Geza Erniša, the leader of the Slovenian Evangelical and Lutheran Church.

Žakelj told the STA that the Reformation was very topical in Slovenia. “The humanity is about to create a second post-capitalist paradigm, which requires a reformation in the society,” he said, adding that politics is afraid of reformation because it is protecting partial interests.

Ceremonies will also be held in Evangelical churches in Slovenia, and the ceremony in the town of Križevci (NE) will be broadcast live by the national television and radio, according to Erniša.

Erniša’s message to the members of his church and the public is that the values of Reformation are still topical, although they are several hundred years old. “They call us to tolerance and a very high level of personal responsibility,” added Erniša, who will today get a Silver Order of Services from the Slovenian president for promoting tolerance.

According to the 2002 census, 14,736 people or 0.8% of Slovenia’s two-million population are Protestant. The majority live in the north-eastern region of Prekmurje.

Source: Slovenia Times