Protestant -Reformation religion sprung from Catholicism
Is Protestant a Religion?
Protestantism is more a definition of the group of churches
that broke off from the Roman Catholic Church during the sixteenth
century rather than a religion in and of itself. All protestant
churches can trace their roots back to the protestant reformation
that was initiated by Martin Luther when he wrote his 95 thesis
and nailed it to the door of the Wittenburg Church. Following
his questioning of the Holy Roman Empire, others started to
question their authority and beliefs as well. Some of the
more notable figures were John Calvin, Zwingli, Thomas Cranmer,
and John Knox.
The term "protestant" was originally meant to denote someone
who was "a witness" rather than someone "against" something.
Most early protestant figures saw themselves as trying to
correct problems within the Roman Catholic Church rather than
trying to rebel against it. Today, the term protestant describes
any sect or religion that had its basis originally in the
Catholic Church but broke away to form their own organization.
These protestant families include religious sects such as
Lutheran, Presbyterian, Anglican, Episcopal, Baptist and Calvinists.
In later centuries, there would be many splinter groups from
these early protestant religions such as Methodists, Evangelical
Churches and Pentecostals. Today there are hundreds of different
denominations that originally derived from the reformation
The basic beliefs that emerged during the protestant reformation
eventually were summarized in what is called the Five Solas
or five Latin phrases. These five phrases in English translate
to, by grace alone, by faith alone, by Scripture alone, by
Christ alone, and Glory to God alone. They were meant to show
how authorities of the Catholic Church had distorted the message
of justification before God and salvation in Jesus Christ.
Today there are about 590 million Protestants throughout
the world. They cover all continents and nations. Nearly 27%
of all Christians today are Protestants.