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Freedom to worship - 1648

Ratification of the Peace of Westphalia at Munster.


Following eighty years of war between Spain and the Netherlands and thirty years of war between other nations of Europe, all the combatants were ready to discuss peace. The result was the Peace of Westphalia, so-called because the treaties that made it up were signed in Münster and Osnabrück, two cities in the German region of Westphalia. These treaties became important as a basis of international law. One of the treaties, between the Holy Roman Empire, France, and their respective allies, allowed Lutherans to worship more freely than they had been able to do. It was signed on this day 24 October 1648


“That those of the Confession of Augsburg [Lutherans], and particularly the Inhabitants of Oppenheim, shall be put in possession again of their Churches, and Ecclesiastical Estates, as they were in the Year 1624, as also that all others of the said Confession of Augsburg, who shall demand it, shall have the free Exercise of their Religion, as well in publick Churches at the appointed Hours, as in private in their own Houses, or in others chosen for this purpose by their Ministers, or by those of their Neighbours, preaching the Word of God.”


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