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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Martin Luther King and Martin Luther

June 23rd, 2017

by Harry Winter, OMI

In 1934, an African American, Rev. Michael King Sr., visited religious reformer Martin Luther’s home in the town of Wittenberg, Germany. King was so impressed by Luther’s legacy that he changed his name to Martin Luther King, Sr., and his son’s to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Was it the free exchange of ideas and values that the older King saw in Luther’s posting of his 95 theses?  Was it the fact that the Christian Church is in continual need of reformation, as Luther stressed?  In any case, it shows that some of Luther’s legacy is very relevant today.

It surprises many Americans to learn that there are more Lutherans in Africa and Asia than in North America and Europe.  Furthermore, Lutheran membership in Africa and Asia is growing, while in North America and Europe it is declining.

Lutheran World Services and Caritas International (R.C), have pledged to work more closely together. So civil rights, spirituality, ecclesiology and witness have been joined  by Martin Luther and Drs. Martin Luther King, Sr. and Jr.

May Lutherans and Roman Catholics learn more about each other!  

See the OMI USA website Mission-Unity-Dialogue ( for important statements signed by both Churches.

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