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The Eastern Orthodox churches observe several All Souls' Days during the year.

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When Martin Luther translated the Bible into German, he omitted the seven books of the canon which refer to prayers for the dead.

He then introduced the heretical belief that people are simply saved, or not, and argued that there is no need to pray for the dead to get them into heaven.

Consistent with these teachings and traditions, Catholics believe that through the prayers of the faithful on Earth, the dead are cleansed of their sins so they may enter into heaven.

The belief in purgatory has not been without controversy.

Purgatory is necessary so that souls can be cleansed and perfected before they enter into heaven. Thus made atonement for the dead that they might be free from sin." Additional references are found in Zechariah, Sirach, and the Gospel of Matthew.

Jewish tradition also reinforces this belief as well as the tradition and teaching of the Church, which has been affirmed throughout history.Indulgences were sold as spiritual pardons to the poor and applied to the souls of the dead (or the living) to get people into heaven.The abuse of indulgences and the blatant, sometimes fraudulent practice of selling indulgences for money, led to Luther's protest.Another popular name in English is Feast of All Souls.In some other languages the celebration, not necessarily on the same date, is known as Day of the Dead (DĂ­a de los Muertos or de los Difuntos in Spanish-speaking countries; halottak napja in Hungary; Yom el Maouta in Lebanon, Israel and Syria).All Souls Day is a holy day set aside for honoring the dead.

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