|Local or regional history in the U.S. dating older than 300 years is difficult to come by and yet the tradition of the Passion Play in the communities of the Ammergau Alps region and specifically Oberammergau, is older than 450 years!|
Many people assume that the inhabitants of Oberammergau are all devoutly religious and it is for this reason that the Passion Play tradition continues. However, this is quite contrary to the truth. Europe has gone through a major decline in church attendance in the past 50 years and many Europeans, as do many Americans, question their faith. With this said, one might ask why they continue the Passion Play tradition. Surely it’s not because they believe that the Black Plague will return as punishment for the discontinued 1633 pledge of their forefathers!
I think many would agree that the tradition of the Passion Play continues because of the tradition itself. But, perhaps more profoundly, there is something in all of us that finds comfort and peace in the story of a man from Nazareth named Jesus Christ.