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Religion

Germany remembers the birth of the Reformation

Germany prepares for Reformation tourism as the 500-year anniversary approaches.

A memorial bronze door has long since replaced the wooden door on which Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses in 1517. But that won't deter the millions of Reformation tourists the German government is hoping to draw in celebration of Protestantism's birth.

In the run-up of the Reformation's 500-year anniversary, Germany is investing $7 million per year renovating Luther's church and other Reformation-related sites. But it's not just about tourism. It's about the country being able to celebrate its past for a change Although the Protestant church's presence has dwindled here, the ideas spurred a massive shift in thinking that lingers in many Germans today - from steadfast work ethic and sound manufacturing to a sense of Protestant guilt.

Some say Protestantism influences the German the aversion to debt, which has helped buoy Germany during the economic crises. Whether Germans can cut loose and relax in the face of adversity? It may just take a second Reformation.