Today in the Middle Ages: April 17, 1521

Already excommunicated, Martin Luther appeared before the Emperor on April 17, 1521 at Worms to answer for his views.

Luther's sovereign, Elector Friedrich the Wise of Saxon, had demanded that Luther not be condemned without a hearing. Twice he was called before the Emperor; on the second day, he refused to change his views without proof from either Scripture or reason.

From this date, Protestantism grew stronger and was marked by a belief in the primacy of the individual conscience in matters of faith.