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Religious Beliefs


Protestant -Reformation religion sprung from Catholicism

Protestant Religion
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 movement.

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.