EISENACH, Germany (RNS) — As the American pilgrims approached Wartburg Castle, they let their imagination rewind five centuries to the night when Martin Luther was “kidnapped” by masked horsemen and hustled deep into the forest.

The German monk-turned-reformer’s life was in danger after his writings were deemed heretical by Roman Catholic leaders and he gave his defiant “Here I stand” speech at the Diet of Worms, so a prince who was concerned about his safety ordered the abduction.

The pilgrims walked up the steep hill to the castle, where Luther spent 10 months from 1521 to 1522 in hiding, and one

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