Protestantism is a form of Christian faith and practice. It began in northern Europe in the early 16th century. At that time, they were against some parts of Roman Catholicism. Together with Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, Protestantism became one of the three greatest forces in Christianity. Protestantism much influenced the culture, beliefs, and economy of the place it became important in.
The word Protestantism was first used by German princes and free cities at the Diet of Speyer (1529), when they were speaking against the Reformation. Lutherans in Germany began using it. Swiss and French more often used Reformed. The Anglicans use Catholic, Reformed and Protestantism, however the Anglican Church is not always regarded as part of Protestantism because it has kept most of the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church from which it separated from.
Martin Luther, a doctor of theology and a monk, said that the church should return to its roots, and give more weight to what is written in the Bible. Luther thought that the Church had gone too far away from the original teachings. He published 95 theses on the way the Catholic Church was then. Some say, he stuck them onto the door of the church of Wittenberg, but others say this is not true. The 95 theses were published in 1516 or 1517. With the theses, he started the Protestant Reformation.
Protestant churches with a big following are:
Often but not always:
- Anglican Church: Henry VIII split from the Roman Catholic Church. He wanted to divorce from Catherine of Aragon, but the Pope refused to divorce him. King Henry started the Church of England. It is sometimes seen as being the middle way, between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, and that is why is often excluded from Protestantism. This is because, in the English Reformation, the English Church kept the early Catholic ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons, as well as most of the doctrine and liturgy. The critical point which led to the Anglican Church was the outright rejection of the Pope, and so of the Roman Catholic Church as an organisation.
- "Protestantism (Christianity) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia". britannica.com. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/479892/Protestantism. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- "Online Etymology Dictionary". etymonline.com. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Protestant. Retrieved 9 July 2010.