In the Land of Luther, Church Pews Are Mostly Empty

As a boy, Helge Voigt celebrated Christmas Eve listening to Bach's Christmas Oratorio, opening a few gifts and savoring a special dinner. Notably absent were a nativity scene, angels atop a tree — or any mention of Jesus.

Voigt's family was typical in the region of Germany where Martin Luther lived and launched the Protestant revolution nearly 500 years ago. While Luther's legacy includes 72 million Lutherans across the globe today, on the streets where Luther preached, about 85 percent of residents have no religion.

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