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Protestantism is a form of
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. It is the world's largest religion, with about 2.4 billion followers. Its adherents, known as Christians, make up a majority of the populati ...
that originated with the 16th-century
Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in p ...
, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international ...

Catholic Church
. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of
papal supremacy Papal supremacy is the doctrine of the Catholic Church that the Pope, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, the visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful, and as pastor of the en ...
and
sacraments A sacrament is a Christian rite recognized as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Many Christians consider the sacraments to be a visible symbol of the reality of God, a ...
, but disagree among themselves regarding the
real presence In Christian theology, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is the doctrine that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, not merely symbolically or metaphorically, nor literalistically, but Sacramentally. There are a number of Christian denom ...
of
Christ Jesus; he, יֵשׁוּעַ, ''Yēšū́aʿ''; ar, عيسى, ʿĪsā ( 4 BC AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianit ...
in the
Eucharist The Eucharist (; also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper among other names) is a Christian rite considered a sacrament in most churches, an ordinance in others. According to the New Testament, the rite was instituted by Jesus Christ ...
, and matters of
ecclesiastical polity Ecclesiastical polity is the operational and governance structure of a church or of a Christian denomination. It also denotes the ministerial structure of a church and the authority relationships between churches. Polity relates closely to eccle ...
and
apostolic succession Deodatus; Claude Bassot (1580-1630).">Deodatus of Nevers">Deodatus; Claude Bassot (1580-1630). Apostolic succession is the method whereby the ministry of the Christian Church is held to be derived from the apostles by a continuous succession, which ...
. They emphasize the
priesthood of all believers The universal priesthood or the priesthood of all believers is a principle in some branches of Christianity which abrogates the doctrine of holy orders found in some other branches, including the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. Derived from th ...
; justification by faith alone (') rather than by
good works In Christian theology, good works, or simply works, are a person's (exterior) actions or deeds, in contrast to inner qualities such as grace or faith. Views by denomination Anglican Churches The Anglican theological tradition, including The Chu ...
; the teaching that
salvation Salvation (from Latin: ''salvatio'', from ''salva'', 'safe, saved') is the state of being saved or protected from harm or a dire situation. In religion and theology, ''salvation'' generally refers to the deliverance of the soul from sin and its co ...
comes by
divine grace Divine grace is a theological term present in many religions. It has been defined as the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptatio ...
or "unmerited favor" only, not as something merited ('); and affirm the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ''tà biblía'', "the books") is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred to Christians, Jews, Samaritans, Rastafari and others. It appears in the form of an anthology, a compilati ...
as being the sole highest authority (' or scripture alone), rather than also with
sacred tradition Sacred tradition is a theological term used in major Christian traditions, primarily those claiming apostolic succession, such as the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian, and Anglican traditions, to refer to the foundation of th ...
. The five ''solae'' summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Catholic Church. Protestantism began in
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German , demonym = German , government_type = Federal parliamentary republi ...
). in 1517, when
Martin Luther Martin Luther, (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German professor of theology, priest, author, composer, Augustinian monk, and a seminal figure in the Reformation. Luther was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. He cam ...
published his ''
Ninety-five Theses The ''Ninety-five Theses'' or ''Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences''-The title comes from the 1569 Basel pamphlet printing. The first printings of the ''Theses'' use an incipit rather than a title which summarizes the content. ...
'' as a reaction against abuses in the sale of
indulgence Apostolic Benediction and Plenary Indulgence Parchment In the teaching of the Catholic Church, an indulgence (, from ''indulgeo'', 'permit') is "a way to reduce the amount of punishment one has to undergo for sins". The ''Catechism of the Catholic ...
s by the Catholic Church, which purported to offer the remission of the temporal punishment of sins to their purchasers. The term, however, derives from the letter of protestation from German Lutheran
princes A prince is a male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title of nobility (often highest), often hereditary, in some European states. The femi ...
in 1529 against an
edict JMdict (Japanese-Multilingual Dictionary) is a large machine-readable multilingual Japanese dictionary. As of February 2021, it contained Japanese–English translations for around 191,000 entries, representing 267,000 unique headword-reading combin ...
of the Diet of Speyer condemning the teachings of Martin Luther as
heretical Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. The term is usually used in reference to violations of important religi ...
. Although there were earlier breaks and attempts to reform the Catholic Church—notably by
Peter Waldo Peter Waldo (), Valdo, Valdes, or Waldes (c. 1140 – c. 1205), also Pierre Vaudès or de Vaux, was a leader of the Waldensians, a Christian spiritual movement of the Middle Ages. Relationship with Waldenses Peter Waldo is regarded as the foun ...
,
John Wycliffe John Wycliffe (; also spelled ''Wyclif'', ''Wiclef'', ''Wickliffe'' and other variants; 1320s – 31 December 1384) was an English scholastic philosopher, theologian, biblical translator, reformer, priest, and a seminary professor at the Unive ...
and
Jan Hus Jan Hus (; ; – 6 July 1415), sometimes anglicized as John Hus or John Huss, and referred to in historical texts as ''Iohannes Hus'' or ''Johannes Huss'', was a Czech theologian and philosopher who became a Church reformer and the inspiration o ...

Jan Hus
—only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider, lasting and
modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history ** Early Modern period ** Late Modern period *** 18th century *** 19th century *** 20th century ** Contemporary history * Moderns, a faction of Freemasonry that existed in the 18th century Philosophy a ...
movement. In the
16th century '', by Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1503–06, one of the world's best-known paintings : Mughal Army artillerymen during the reign of Jalaluddin Akbar the Great The 16th century begins with the Julian calendar, Julian year 1501 (MDI) and ends with either ...
,
Lutheranism Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. T ...
spread from Germany into
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ), officially the Kingdom of Denmark, da, Kongeriget Danmark, . See also: The unity of the Realm is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. Denmark proper, which is the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, consists o ...
,
Norway Norway ( nb, ; nn, ; se, Norga; smj, Vuodna; sma, Nöörje), officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose mainland territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. T ...
,
Sweden Sweden (; sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingd ...
,
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland , ), officially the Republic of Finland (, ), is a Nordic country located in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gul ...
,
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is one of the Baltic states; and is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuan ...

Latvia
,
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...
and
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, with a population of 356,991 and an area of , making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík. Reykjavík and t ...
.
Reformed Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
churches spread in Germany,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a country in Central Europe. It borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the south, Croatia and Slovenia to the southwest, and Austria to the west. H ...
,
the Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In Europe, the ...
,
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile (154 km) border with England to the southeast and is otherwis ...
,
Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federal semi-direct democracy under a multi-party assembly-independent directorial republic , leader_title1 = Federal Council , leader_name ...
and
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of Fr ...
by
Protestant Reformers Protestant Reformers were those theologians whose careers, works and actions brought about the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. In the context of the Reformation, Martin Luther was the first reformer (sharing his views publicly in 1517 ...
such as
John Calvin John Calvin (; french: Jean Calvin ; born Jehan Cauvin; 10 July 150927 May 1564) was a French theologian, pastor and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian t ...

John Calvin
,
Huldrych Zwingli Huldrych Zwingli or Ulrich Zwingli (1 January 1484 – 11 October 1531) was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland, born during a time of emerging Swiss patriotism and increasing criticism of the Swiss mercenary system. He attended the ...
and
John Knox John Knox ( – 24 November 1572) was a Scottish minister, theologian, and writer who was a leader of the country's Reformation. He was the founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Born in Giffordgate, a street in Haddington, East Lothi ...
. The political separation of the
Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
from the
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state or sovereign of the V ...

pope
under
King Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for his six marriages, and, in particular, his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon) annulled. His disag ...

King Henry VIII
began
Anglicanism Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; they are also called ''E ...
, bringing
England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continent ...
and
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area ...
into this broad Reformation movement. Today, Protestantism constitutes the second-largest form of Christianity (after Catholicism), with a total of 800 million to 1 billion adherents worldwide or about 37% of all
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koine Greek title ''Christós'' (Χριστ ...
. Protestants have developed their own culture, with major contributions in education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy and the arts and many other fields.Karl Heussi, ''Kompendium der Kirchengeschichte'', 11. Auflage (1956), Tübingen (Germany), pp. 317–319, 325–326 Protestantism is diverse, being more divided
theologically Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. It occupies itself with the unique content of analyzing the supe ...
and ecclesiastically than the Catholic Church, the
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops ...
or
Oriental Orthodoxy The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian churches adhering to Miaphysite Christology, with a total of approximately 60 million members worldwide. The Oriental Orthodox Churches are broadly part of the trinitarian Nic ...
. Without structural unity or central human authority, Protestants developed the concept of an
invisible church The invisible church or church invisible is a theological concept of an "invisible" Christian Church of the elect who are known only to God, in contrast to the "visible church"—that is, the institutional body on earth which preaches the gospel and ...
, in contrast to the Catholic, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the
Assyrian Church of the East The Assyrian Church of the East ( syc, ܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ܕܐܬܘܖ̈ܝܐ, ʿĒḏtā ḏ-Maḏnḥā ḏ-ʾĀṯūrāyē, ar, كنيسة المشرق الآشورية), officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East ( syc, ܥ ...
and the
Ancient Church of the East The Ancient Church of the East ( syr, ܥܕܬܐ ܥܬܝܩܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ''ʿĒdtā ʿAttiqtā ḏMaḏnḥā''; ar, كنيسة المشرق القديمة, ''Kanīsat al-Mašriq al-Qadīma''), officially the Ancient Holy Apostolic Catholic Church ...
, which all understand themselves as the one and only original church—the "
one true churchThe expression "one true church" refers to an ecclesiological position asserting that Jesus gave his authority in the Great Commission solely to a particular Christian institutional church— what others would call a denomination, believers of this d ...
"—founded by Jesus Christ. Some denominations do have a worldwide scope and distribution of membership, while others are confined to a single country. A majority of Protestants are members of a handful of Protestant denominational families:
Adventists Adventism is a branch of Protestant Christianity that believes in the imminent Second Coming (or "Second Advent") of Jesus Christ. It originated in the 1830s in the United States during the Second Great Awakening when Baptist preacher William Mil ...
,
Anabaptists Anabaptism (from Neo-Latin , from the Greek : "re-" and "baptism", german: Täufer, earlier also )Since the middle of the 20th century, the German-speaking world no longer uses the term (translation: "Re-baptizers"), considering it biased. The ...
,
Baptists Baptists form a major branch of Protestant Christianity distinguished by baptizing professing Christian believers only (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism), and doing so by complete immersion (as opposed to affusion or aspersion). ...
,
Calvinist Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
/
Reformed Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
,
Lutherans Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. T ...
, Methodists, and
Pentecostals Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a Protestant Christian movement
.
Nondenominational A non-denominational person or organization is not restricted to any particular or specific religious denomination. Overview The term has been used in the context of various faiths including Jainism, Baháʼí Faith, Zoroastrianism, Unitarian Univ ...
,
Charismatic Charisma () is compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. Scholars in sociology, political science, psychology, and management reserve the term for a type of leadership seen as extraordinary; in these fields, the term ...
,
Evangelical Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvati ...
,
Independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, area of the United States during the early 1930s * Independent ...
, and other churches are on the rise, and constitute a significant part of Protestantism.


Terminology


Protestant

Six princes of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Imperium Romanum; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 180 ...
and rulers of fourteen
Imperial Free Cities#REDIRECT Free imperial city {{R from other capitalisation ...
, who issued a protest (or dissent) against the edict of the
Diet of Speyer (1529) The Diet of Speyer or the Diet of Spires (sometimes referred to as Speyer II) was a Diet of the Holy Roman Empire held in 1529 in the Imperial City of Speyer (located in present-day Germany). The Diet condemned the results of the Diet of Speyer ...
, were the first individuals to be called Protestants. The edict reversed concessions made to the
Lutherans Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. T ...
with the approval of
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator Romanorum, german: Kaiser der Römer) during the middle ages, and also known as the German-Roman Emperor since the early modern period ( la, Imperator Ger ...
Charles VCharles V may refer to: * Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (1500–1558) * Charles V of Naples (1661–1700), better known as Charles II of Spain * Charles V of France (1338–1380), called the Wise * Charles V, Duke of Lorraine (1643–1690) * Infante ...
three years earlier. The term ''protestant'', though initially purely political in nature, later acquired a broader sense, referring to a member of any Western church which subscribed to the main Protestant principles. Any Western Christian who is not an adherent of the Catholic Church or
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops ...
is a Protestant. A Protestant is an adherent of any of those Christian bodies that separated from the Church of Rome during the Reformation, or of any group descended from them. During the Reformation, the term ''protestant'' was hardly used outside of German politics. People who were involved in the religious movement used the word ''evangelical'' (german: evangelisch). For further details, see the section below. Gradually, ''protestant'' became a general term, meaning any adherent of the Reformation in the German-speaking area. It was ultimately somewhat taken up by
Lutherans Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. T ...
, even though
Martin Luther Martin Luther, (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German professor of theology, priest, author, composer, Augustinian monk, and a seminal figure in the Reformation. Luther was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. He cam ...
himself insisted on ''Christian'' or ''evangelical'' as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ.
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France ** French language, a French language which originated in France, and its various dialects ** French people, a nation and ethnic group identified with Fr ...
and
Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland *Swiss people Places *Swiss, Missouri *Swiss, North Carolina *Swiss, West Virginia *Swiss, Wisconsin Other uses *Swiss-system tournament, in various games and sports *Swiss International Ai ...
Protestants instead preferred the word ''reformed'' (french: réformé), which became a popular, neutral, and alternative name for
Calvinists Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
.


Evangelical

The word ''evangelical'' (german: evangelisch), which refers to
the gospel In Christianity, the gospel, or the Good News, is the news of the imminent coming of the Kingdom of GodMark 1:14-15. This message is expounded upon as a narrative in the four canonical gospels, and as theology in many of the New Testament epistl ...
, was widely used for those involved in the religious movement in the German-speaking area beginning in 1517. Nowadays, ''evangelical'' is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran, Calvinist, and United Protestant (Lutheran & Reformed) traditions in Europe, and those with strong ties to them (e.g.
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), also referred to simply as the Wisconsin Synod, is an American Confessional Lutheran denomination of Christianity. Characterized as theologically conservative, it was founded in 1850 in Milwaukee, ...
). Above all the term is used by Protestant bodies in the
German-speaking area This article details the geographical distribution of speakers of the German language, regardless of the legislative status within the countries where it is spoken. In addition to the German-speaking area (german: Deutscher Sprachraum) in Europe, ...
, such as the
Evangelical Church in Germany The Evangelical Church in Germany (german: Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland, abbreviated EKD) is a federation of twenty Lutheran, Reformed (Calvinist) and United (e.g. Prussian Union) Protestant regional churches and denominations in Germany, whi ...
. In continental Europe, an ''Evangelical'' is either a Lutheran, a Calvinist, or a United Protestant (Lutheran & Reformed). The
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language * Germanic peoples * Ger ...
word ' means Protestant, and is different from the German ', which refers to churches shaped by
Evangelicalism Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvati ...
. The English word ''evangelical'' usually refers to
evangelical Protestant Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvati ...
churches, and therefore to a certain part of Protestantism rather than to Protestantism as a whole. The English word traces its roots back to the
Puritans The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become more Protestant. ...
in England, where Evangelicalism originated, and then was brought to the United States. Martin Luther always disliked the term ''Lutheran'', preferring the term ''evangelical'', which was derived from ''euangelion'', a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "
gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message, but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out; in this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrative of the words and deeds of Jesus ...
".Espín, Orlando O. and Nickoloff, James B. ''An introductory dictionary of theology and religious studies''. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, p. 796. The followers of
John Calvin John Calvin (; french: Jean Calvin ; born Jehan Cauvin; 10 July 150927 May 1564) was a French theologian, pastor and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian t ...

John Calvin
,
Huldrych Zwingli Huldrych Zwingli or Ulrich Zwingli (1 January 1484 – 11 October 1531) was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland, born during a time of emerging Swiss patriotism and increasing criticism of the Swiss mercenary system. He attended the ...
, and other theologians linked to the
Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
also began to use that term. To distinguish the two evangelical groups, others began to refer to the two groups as ''Evangelical Lutheran'' and ''Evangelical Reformed''. Nowadays, the word also pertains in the same way to some other mainline groups, for example ''Evangelical Methodist''. As time passed by, the word ''evangelical'' was dropped. Lutherans themselves began to use the term ''Lutheran'' in the middle of the 16th century, in order to distinguish themselves from other groups such as the
Philippists The Philippists formed a party in early Lutheranism. Their opponents were called Gnesio-Lutherans. Before Luther's death ''Philippists'' was the designation usually applied in the latter half of the sixteenth century to the followers of Philipp ...
and
Calvinists Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
.


Reformational

The German word ', which roughly translates to English as "reformational" or "reforming", is used as an alternative for ' in German, and is different from English ''reformed'' (german: reformiert), which refers to churches shaped by ideas of
John Calvin John Calvin (; french: Jean Calvin ; born Jehan Cauvin; 10 July 150927 May 1564) was a French theologian, pastor and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian t ...

John Calvin
,
Huldrych Zwingli Huldrych Zwingli or Ulrich Zwingli (1 January 1484 – 11 October 1531) was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland, born during a time of emerging Swiss patriotism and increasing criticism of the Swiss mercenary system. He attended the ...
and other Reformed theologians. Being derived from the word "Reformation", the term emerged around the same time as ''evangelical'' (1517) and ''protestant'' (1529).


Theology


Main principles

Various experts on the subject tried to determine what makes a Christian denomination a part of Protestantism. A common consensus approved by most of them is that if a Christian denomination is to be considered Protestant, it must acknowledge the following three fundamental principles of Protestantism. ;Scripture alone: The belief, emphasized by Luther, in the Bible as the highest source of authority for the church. The early churches of the Reformation believed in a critical, yet serious, reading of scripture and holding the Bible as a source of authority higher than that of church tradition. The many abuses that had occurred in the Western Church before the Protestant Reformation led the Reformers to reject much of its tradition, though some would maintain tradition has been maintained and reorganized in the liturgy and in the confessions of the Protestant churches of the Reformation. In the early 20th century, a less critical reading of the Bible developed in the United States, leading to a "fundamentalist" reading of Scripture. Christian fundamentalists read the Bible as the "inerrant, infallible" Word of God, as do the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran churches, but interpret it in a literalist fashion without using the historical-critical method. "Biblical Christianity" focused on a deep study of the Bible is characteristic of most Protestants as opposed to "Church Christianity", focused on performing rituals and good works, represented by Catholic and Orthodox traditions. However Quakers and Pentecostalists, emphasize the Holy Spirit and personal closeness to God. ;Justification by faith alone: The belief that believers are justified, or pardoned for sin, solely on condition of faith in
Christ Jesus; he, יֵשׁוּעַ, ''Yēšū́aʿ''; ar, عيسى, ʿĪsā ( 4 BC AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianit ...
rather than a combination of faith and
good works In Christian theology, good works, or simply works, are a person's (exterior) actions or deeds, in contrast to inner qualities such as grace or faith. Views by denomination Anglican Churches The Anglican theological tradition, including The Chu ...
. For Protestants, good works are a necessary consequence rather than cause of justification. However, while justification is by faith alone, there is the position that faith is not ''nuda fides''. John Calvin explained that "it is therefore faith alone which justifies, and yet the faith which justifies is not alone: just as it is the heat alone of the sun which warms the earth, and yet in the sun it is not alone." ;Universal priesthood of believers: The universal priesthood of believers implies the right and duty of the Christian laity not only to read the Bible in the
vernacular A vernacular, or vernacular language is a term for a type of speech variety, generally used to refer to a local language or dialect, as distinct from what is seen as a standard language. The vernacular is contrasted with higher-prestige forms o ...
, but also to take part in the government and all the public affairs of the Church. It is opposed to the hierarchical system which puts the essence and authority of the Church in an exclusive priesthood, and which makes ordained priests the necessary mediators between God and the people. It is distinguished from the concept of the priesthood of all believers, which did not grant individuals the right to interpret the Bible apart from the Christian community at large because universal priesthood opened the door to such a possibility. There are scholars who cite that this doctrine tends to subsume all distinctions in the church under a single spiritual entity. Calvin referred to the universal priesthood as an expression of the relation between the believer and his God, including the freedom of a Christian to come to God through Christ without human mediation. He also maintained that this principle recognizes Christ as
prophet In religion, a prophet is an individual who is regarded as being in contact with a divine being and is said to speak on behalf of that being, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings from the supernatural sour ...
, priest, and king and that his priesthood is shared with his people.


Trinity

Protestants who adhere to the
Nicene Creed The Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) is a Christian statement of belief widely used in liturgy. It is the defining creed of Nicene Christianity. It is named for the city of Nicaea (present ...
believe in three
person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of social relations such as kinship, ownersh ...
s (
God the Father God the Father is a title given to God in various religions, most prominently in Christianity. In mainstream trinitarian Christianity, God the Father is regarded as the first person of the Trinity, followed by the second person, God the Son (J ...
,
God the Son#REDIRECT God the Son#REDIRECT God the Son {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
, and the
Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. In Judaism, it refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the universe or over his creatur ...
) as one God. Movements emerging around the time of the Protestant Reformation, but not a part of Protestantism, e.g.
Unitarianism Unitarianism (from Latin ''unitas'' "unity, oneness", from ''unus'' "one") is a Christian theological movement named for its belief that the God in Christianity is one entity, as opposed to the Trinity (tri- from Latin ''tres'' "three") which in ...
also reject the Trinity. This often serves as a reason for exclusion of the
Unitarian Universalism Unitarian Universalism (UU) is a liberal religion characterized by a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning". Unitarian Universalists assert no creed, but instead are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth, guided by a dyn ...
,
Oneness Pentecostalism Oneness Pentecostalism (also known as Apostolic, Jesus' Name Pentecostalism, or the Jesus Only movement) is a nontrinitarian movement within the Protestant Christian family of churches known as Pentecostalism. It derives its distinctive name from i ...
and other movements from Protestantism by various observers. Unitarianism continues to have a presence mainly in Transylvania, England and the United States, as well as elsewhere.


Five solae

The Five ' are five
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant language ...
phrases (or slogans) that emerged during the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in p ...
and summarize the reformers' basic differences in theological beliefs in opposition to the teaching of the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international ...

Catholic Church
of the day. The Latin word ' means "alone", "only", or "single". The use of the phrases as summaries of teaching emerged over time during the Reformation, based on the overarching principle of ' (by scripture alone). This idea contains the four main doctrines on the Bible: that its teaching is needed for salvation (necessity); that all the doctrine necessary for salvation comes from the Bible alone (sufficiency); that everything taught in the Bible is correct (inerrancy); and that, by the Holy Spirit overcoming sin, believers may read and understand truth from the Bible itself, though understanding is difficult, so the means used to guide individual believers to the true teaching is often mutual discussion within the church (clarity). The necessity and inerrancy were well-established ideas, garnering little criticism, though they later came under debate from outside during the Enlightenment. The most contentious idea at the time though was the notion that anyone could simply pick up the Bible and learn enough to gain salvation. Though the reformers were concerned with ecclesiology (the doctrine of how the church as a body works), they had a different understanding of the process in which truths in scripture were applied to life of believers, compared to the Catholics' idea that certain people within the church, or ideas that were old enough, had a special status in giving understanding of the text. The second main principle, ' (by faith alone), states that faith in Christ is sufficient alone for eternal salvation and justification. Though argued from scripture, and hence logically consequent to ', this is the guiding principle of the work of Luther and the later reformers. Because ' placed the Bible as the only source of teaching, ' epitomises the main thrust of the teaching the reformers wanted to get back to, namely the direct, close, personal connection between Christ and the believer, hence the reformers' contention that their work was Christocentric. The other solas, as statements, emerged later, but the thinking they represent was also part of the early Reformation. * ': ''Christ alone'' : The Protestants characterize the dogma concerning the Pope as Christ's representative head of the Church on earth, the concept of works made meritorious by Christ, and the Catholic idea of a treasury of the merits of Christ and his saints, as a denial that Christ is the ''only'' mediator between
God God, in monotheistic thought, is conceived of as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith.Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is usually conceiv ...

God
and man. Catholics, on the other hand, maintained the traditional understanding of Judaism on these questions, and appealed to the universal consensus of Christian tradition. * ': ''Grace alone'' : Protestants perceived Catholic salvation to be dependent upon the grace of God and the merits of one's own works. The reformers posited that salvation is a gift of God (i.e., God's act of free grace), dispensed by the Holy Spirit owing to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ alone. Consequently, they argued that a sinner is not accepted by God on account of the change wrought in the believer by God's grace, and that the believer is accepted without regard for the merit of his works, for no one ''deserves'' salvation. * ': ''Glory to God alone'' : All glory is due to God alone since salvation is accomplished solely through his will and action—not only the gift of the all-sufficient
atonement Atonement (also atoning, to atone) is the concept of a person taking action to correct previous wrongdoing on their part, either through direct action to undo the consequences of that act, equivalent action to do good for others, or some other exp ...
of
Jesus Jesus; he, יֵשׁוּעַ, ''Yēšū́aʿ''; ar, عيسى, ʿĪsā ( 4 BC AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianit ...
on but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the
Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. In Judaism, it refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the universe or over his creatur ...
. The reformers believed that human beings—even saints
canonized Canonization is the declaration of a deceased person as an officially recognized saint, specifically, the official act of a Christian communion declaring a person worthy of public cult and entering his or her name in the canon, or authorized li ...
by the Catholic Church, the popes, and the ecclesiastical hierarchy—are not worthy of the glory.


Christ's presence in the Eucharist

The Protestant movement began to diverge into several distinct branches in the mid-to-late 16th century. One of the central points of divergence was controversy over the
Eucharist The Eucharist (; also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper among other names) is a Christian rite considered a sacrament in most churches, an ordinance in others. According to the New Testament, the rite was instituted by Jesus Christ ...
. Early Protestants rejected the Catholic
dogma Dogma in the broad sense is any belief held unquestioningly and with undefended certainty. It may be in the form of an official system of principles or doctrines of a religion, such as Roman Catholicism, Judaism, or Protestantism, as well as the ...
of
transubstantiation Transubstantiation (Latin: ''transsubstantiatio''; Greek: μετουσίωσις ''metousiosis'') is, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, "the change of the whole substance of bread into the substance of the Body of Christ and of the ...
, which teaches that the bread and wine used in the sacrificial rite of the Mass lose their natural substance by being transformed into the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. They disagreed with one another concerning the presence of Christ and his body and blood in Holy Communion. * Lutherans hold that within the
Lord's Supper The Eucharist (; also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper among other names) is a Christian rite considered a sacrament in most churches, an ordinance in others. According to the New Testament, the rite was instituted by Jesus Christ ...
the consecrated elements of bread and wine are the true body and blood of Christ "in, with, and under the form" of bread and wine for all those who eat and drink it, a doctrine that the
Formula of Concord Formula of Concord (1577) (German, ''Konkordienformel''; Latin, ''Formula concordiae''; also the "''Bergic Book''" or the "''Bergen Book''") is an authoritative Lutheran statement of faith (called a confession, creed, or "symbol") that, in its two ...
calls the
Sacramental union Sacramental union (Latin, ''unio sacramentalis''; Luther's German, ''Sacramentliche Einigkeit'';''Weimar Ausgabe'' 26, 442.23; ''Luther's Works'' 37, 299-300. German, ''sakramentalische Vereinigung'') is the Lutheran theological doctrine of the Real ...
. God earnestly offers to all who receive the sacrament, forgiveness of sins, and eternal salvation. * The
Reformed churches Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
emphasize the real ''spiritual'' presence, or ''sacramental presence'', of Christ, saying that the sacrament is a sanctifying grace through which the elect believer does not actually partake of Christ, but merely ''with'' the bread and wine rather than in the elements. Calvinists deny the Lutheran assertion that all communicants, both believers and unbelievers, orally receive Christ's body and blood in the elements of the
sacrament A sacrament is a Christian rite recognized as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Many Christians consider the sacraments to be a visible symbol of the reality of God, a ...
but instead affirm that Christ is united to the believer through faith—toward which the supper is an outward and visible aid. This is often referred to as ''dynamic presence''. * Anglicans and Methodists refuse to define the Presence, preferring to leave it a mystery. The Prayer Books describe the bread and wine as outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace which is the Body and Blood of Christ. However, the words of their liturgies suggest that one can hold to a belief in the Real Presence and Spiritual and Sacramental Present at the same time. For example, "... and you have fed us with the spiritual food in the Sacrament of his body and Blood;" "...the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, and for assuring us in these holy mysteries..." American Book of Common Prayer, 1977, pp. 365–366. * Anabaptists hold a popular simplification of the Zwinglian view, without concern for theological intricacies as hinted at above, may see the Lord's Supper merely as a symbol of the shared faith of the participants, a commemoration of the facts of the crucifixion, and a reminder of their standing together as the body of Christ (a view referred to as ''memorialism'').


History


Pre-Reformation

In the late 1130s,
Arnold of Brescia Arnold of Brescia ( 1090 – June 1155), also known as Arnaldus ( it, Arnaldo da Brescia), was an Italian canon regular from Lombardy. He called on the Church to renounce property ownership and participated in the failed Commune of Rome. Exiled ...
, an Italian
canon regular Canons regular are canons (a category of clergy) in the Catholic Church who live in community under a rule () and are generally organised into religious orders, differing from both secular canons and other forms of religious life, such as clerks ...
became one of the first theologians to attempt to reform the Catholic Church. After his death, his teachings on
apostolic povertyApostolic poverty is a Christian doctrine professed in the thirteenth century by the newly formed religious orders, known as the mendicant orders, in direct response to calls for reform in the Roman Catholic Church. In this, these orders attempted to ...
gained currency among
ArnoldistsRemains of Arnold of Brescia burned at the stake at the hands of the Papal guards Arnoldists were a Proto-Protestant Christian movement in the 12th century, named after Arnold of Brescia, an advocate of ecclesiastical reform who criticized the great ...
, and later more widely among
Waldensians The Waldensians (also known as Waldenses (), Vallenses, Valdesi or Vaudois) are adherents of a proto-Protestant church tradition that began as an ascetic movement within Western Christianity before the Reformation. Originally known as the "Poor ...
and the
Spiritual Franciscans The Fraticelli ("Little Brethren") or Spiritual Franciscans were extreme proponents of the rule of Saint Francis of Assisi, especially with regard to poverty, and regarded the wealth of the Church as scandalous, and that of individual churchmen a ...
, though no written word of his has survived the official condemnation. In the early 1170s,
Peter Waldo Peter Waldo (), Valdo, Valdes, or Waldes (c. 1140 – c. 1205), also Pierre Vaudès or de Vaux, was a leader of the Waldensians, a Christian spiritual movement of the Middle Ages. Relationship with Waldenses Peter Waldo is regarded as the foun ...
founded the Waldensians. He advocated an interpretation of the Gospel that led to conflicts with the Catholic Church. By 1215, the Waldensians were declared heretical and subject to persecution. Despite that, the movement continues to exist to this day in Italy, as a part of the wider Reformed tradition. In the 1370s,
John Wycliffe John Wycliffe (; also spelled ''Wyclif'', ''Wiclef'', ''Wickliffe'' and other variants; 1320s – 31 December 1384) was an English scholastic philosopher, theologian, biblical translator, reformer, priest, and a seminary professor at the Unive ...
—later dubbed the "Morning Star of Reformation"—started his activity as an English reformer. He rejected papal authority over secular power, translated the Bible into
vernacular A vernacular, or vernacular language is a term for a type of speech variety, generally used to refer to a local language or dialect, as distinct from what is seen as a standard language. The vernacular is contrasted with higher-prestige forms o ...
English English usually refers to: * English language * English people English may also refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * ''English'', an adjective for something of, from, or related to England ** English national identity, an identity and ...

English
, and preached anticlerical and biblically-centred reforms. Beginning in the first decade of the 15th century,
Jan Hus Jan Hus (; ; – 6 July 1415), sometimes anglicized as John Hus or John Huss, and referred to in historical texts as ''Iohannes Hus'' or ''Johannes Huss'', was a Czech theologian and philosopher who became a Church reformer and the inspiration o ...

Jan Hus
—a Catholic priest, Czech reformist and professor—influenced by John Wycliffe's writings, founded the
Hussite upright=1.2, The Lands of the Bohemian Crown during the Hussite Wars. The movement began in Prague and quickly spread south and then through the rest of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Eventually, it expanded into the remaining domains of the Bohemia ...
movement. He strongly advocated his reformist
Bohemian A Bohemian () is a resident of Bohemia, today a region of the Czech Republic, or of the former Kingdom of Bohemia (lands of the Bohemian Crown). In English, the word "Bohemian" was used to denote the Czech people as well as the Czech language be ...
religious denomination. He was
excommunicated Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure used to end or at least regulate the communion of a member of a congregation with other members of the religious institution who are in normal communion with each other. The purpose of ...
and
burned at the stake Death by burning (also known as immolation) is an execution method involving combustion or exposure to extreme heat. It has a long history as a form of public capital punishment, and many societies have employed it as a punishment for and warni ...
in
Constance Konstanz (, , locally: ; also written as Constance in English) is a university city with approximately 83,000 inhabitants located at the western end of Lake Constance in the south of Germany. The city houses the University of Konstanz and was the ...
,
Bishopric of Constance The Prince-Bishopric of Constance, (german: Hochstift Konstanz, Fürstbistum Konstanz, Bistum Konstanz) was a small ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire from the mid–12th century until its secularisation in 1802–1803. In his du ...
in 1415 by secular authorities for unrepentant and persistent heresy. After his execution, a revolt erupted. Hussites defeated five continuous crusades proclaimed against them by the
Pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state or sovereign of the V ...

Pope
. Later on, theological disputes caused a split within the Hussite movement.
Utraquists Utraquism (from the Latin ''sub utraque specie'', meaning "under both kinds") or Calixtinism (from chalice; Latin: ''calix'', mug, borrowed from Greek ''kalyx'', shell, husk; Czech: kališníci) was a belief amongst Hussites, a reformist Christian ...
maintained that both the bread and the wine should be administered to the people during the Eucharist. Another major faction were the
Taborites The Taborites (Czech ''Táborité'', singular ''Táborita''), known by their enemies as the Picards, were a radical faction within the Hussite movement in medieval Lands of the Bohemian Crown. Although most of the Taborites were of rural origin, ...
, who opposed the Utraquists in the
Battle of Lipany The Battle of Lipany (in Czech: ''Bitva u Lipan''), also called the Battle of Český Brod, was fought at Lipany 40 km east of Prague on 30 May 1434 and virtually ended the Hussite Wars. An army of Moderate Hussite (or Calixtine) nobility an ...
during the
Hussite Wars The Hussite Wars, also called the Bohemian Wars or the Hussite Revolution, were a series of wars fought between the Christian Hussites and the combined Catholic forces of Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, the Papacy, European monarchs loyal to the C ...
. There were two separate parties among the Hussites: moderate and radical movements. Other smaller regional Hussite branches in
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech lands in the present-day Czech Republic. Bohemia can also refer to a wider area consisting of the historical Lands of the Bohemian ...
included
Adamites The Adamites, or Adamians, were adherents of an Early Christian group in North Africa in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries. They wore no clothing during their religious services. There were later reports of similar sects in Central Europe during the ...
,
Orebites The Orebites ( cz, Orebité) were followers of the Hussites in Eastern Bohemia. The founders took part in the procession on Mount Oreb, near Třebechovice pod Orebem. Later, most noble supporters belonged to the East Bohemian church known as the ''B ...
,
Orphans An orphan (from the el, ορφανός, orphanós) is a child whose parents have died. only a child who has lost both parents due to death is called an orphan. When referring to animals, only the mother's condition is usually relevant (i.e. i ...
and Praguers. The Hussite Wars concluded with the victory of
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator Romanorum, german: Kaiser der Römer) during the middle ages, and also known as the German-Roman Emperor since the early modern period ( la, Imperator Ger ...
SigismundSigismund (variants: Sigmund, Siegmund) is a German proper name, meaning "protection through victory", from Old High German ''sigu'' "victory" + ''munt'' "hand, protection". Tacitus latinises it ''Segimundus''. There appears to be an older form of th ...
, his Catholic allies and moderate Hussites and the defeat of the radical Hussites. Tensions arose as the
Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' War (, ) was a conflict fought primarily in modern Germany and Central Europe. It was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history. Estimates of total military and civilian deaths range from 4.5 to ...
reached Bohemia in 1620. Both moderate and radical Hussitism was increasingly persecuted by Catholics and Holy Roman Emperor's armies. Starting in 1475, an Italian Dominican friar
Girolamo Savonarola Girolamo Savonarola (, , ; 21 September 1452 – 23 May 1498) was an Italian Dominican friar from Ferrara and preacher active in Renaissance Florence. He was known for his prophecies of civic glory, the destruction of secular art and culture, and ...

Girolamo Savonarola
was calling for a Christian renewal. Later on, Martin Luther himself read some of the friar's writings and praised him as a martyr and forerunner whose ideas on faith and grace anticipated Luther's own doctrine of justification by faith alone. Some of Hus' followers founded the
Unitas Fratrum , image = AgnusDeiWindow.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , caption = Church emblem featuring the Agnus Dei.Stained glass at the Rights Chapel of Trinity Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States , main_classification = Protestant , or ...
—"Unity of the Brethren"—which was renewed under the leadership of Count Nicolaus von Zinzendorf in
Herrnhut Herrnhut (Sorbian: ''Ochranow''; cs, Ochranov) is an Upper Lusatian town in the Görlitz district in Saxony, Germany, known for the community of the Moravian Church established by Nicolas Ludwig, Count von Zinzendorf in 1722. Geography It is loca ...
,
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; hsb, Sakska), officially the Free State of Saxony (German: , Upper Sorbian: ), is a landlocked state of Germany, bordering the states of Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, as well as the countries of Pola ...
in 1722 after its almost total destruction in the
Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' War (, ) was a conflict fought primarily in modern Germany and Central Europe. It was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history. Estimates of total military and civilian deaths range from 4.5 to ...
and the
Counter-Reformation The Counter-Reformation (), also called the Catholic Reformation () or the Catholic Revival, was the period of Catholic resurgence that was initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation. It began with the Council of Trent (1545–1563) and ...
. Today, it is usually referred to in English as the
Moravian Church , image = AgnusDeiWindow.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , caption = Church emblem featuring the Agnus Dei.Stained glass at the Rights Chapel of Trinity Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States , main_classification = Protestant , or ...
and in German as the
Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine , image = AgnusDeiWindow.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , caption = Church emblem featuring the Agnus Dei.Stained glass at the Rights Chapel of Trinity Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States , main_classification = Protestant , or ...
.


Reformation proper

The
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in p ...
began as an attempt to reform the Catholic Church. On 31 October 1517 (
All Hallows' Eve Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of "All Hallows' evening"), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a celebration observed in many countries on 31 October , the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hall ...
)
Martin Luther Martin Luther, (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German professor of theology, priest, author, composer, Augustinian monk, and a seminal figure in the Reformation. Luther was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. He cam ...
allegedly nailed his
Ninety-five Theses The ''Ninety-five Theses'' or ''Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences''-The title comes from the 1569 Basel pamphlet printing. The first printings of the ''Theses'' use an incipit rather than a title which summarizes the content. ...
(Disputation on the Power of Indulgences) on the door of the All Saints' Church in
Wittenberg Wittenberg ( , ; meaning ''White Mountain''; officially Lutherstadt Wittenberg (''Luther City Wittenberg'')), is the fourth largest town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Wittenberg is situated on the River Elbe, north of Leipzig and south-west of Ber ...
, Germany, detailing doctrinal and practical abuses of the Catholic Church, especially the selling of
indulgence Apostolic Benediction and Plenary Indulgence Parchment In the teaching of the Catholic Church, an indulgence (, from ''indulgeo'', 'permit') is "a way to reduce the amount of punishment one has to undergo for sins". The ''Catechism of the Catholic ...
s. The theses debated and criticized many aspects of the Church and the papacy, including the practice of
purgatory Purgatory (, via Anglo-Norman and Old French) is, according to the belief of some Christians (mostly Catholics), an intermediate state after physical death for expiatory purification. There is disagreement among Christians whether such a state ex ...
,
particular judgment Particular judgment, according to Christian eschatology, is the divine judgment that a departed person undergoes immediately after death, in contradistinction to the general judgment (or Last Judgment) of all people at the end of the world. Old ...
, and the authority of the pope. Luther would later write works against the Catholic devotion to
Virgin Mary Mary; arc, ܡܪܝܡ, translit=Mariam; la, Maria; he, מִרְיָם, translit=Miriam; cop, Ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ, translit=Maria; ar, مريم, translit=Maryam; also known by various titles, styles and honorifics was a 1st century Galilean Jewish wom ...
, the intercession of and devotion to the saints, mandatory clerical celibacy, monasticism, the authority of the pope, the ecclesiastical law, censure and
excommunication Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure used to end or at least regulate the communion of a member of a congregation with other members of the religious institution who are in normal communion with each other. The purpose of ...
, the role of secular rulers in religious matters, the relationship between Christianity and the law, good works, and the sacraments.Schofield ''Martin Luther'' p. 122 The
Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in p ...
was a triumph of literacy and the new
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring the ink. It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in which the clo ...
invented by
Johannes Gutenberg Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (; – February 3, 1468) was a German goldsmith, inventor, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe with his mechanical movable-type printing press. His work started the Printing Rev ...

Johannes Gutenberg
.Cameron ''European Reformation'' Luther's translation of the Bible into German was a decisive moment in the spread of literacy, and stimulated as well the printing and distribution of religious books and pamphlets. From 1517 onward, religious pamphlets flooded much of Europe.Edwards ''Printing, Propaganda, and Martin Luther'' Following the excommunication of Luther and condemnation of the Reformation by the Pope, the work and writings of John Calvin were influential in establishing a loose consensus among various groups in Switzerland, Scotland, Hungary, Germany and elsewhere. After the expulsion of its Bishop in 1526, and the unsuccessful attempts of the
Bern ,german: Berner(in),french: Bernois(e), it, Bernese , neighboring_municipalities = Bremgarten bei Bern, Frauenkappelen, Ittigen, Kirchlindach, Köniz, Mühleberg, Muri bei Bern, Neuenegg, Ostermundigen, Wohlen bei Bern, Zollikofen , website ...
reformer
William Farel William Farel (1489 – 13 September 1565), Guilhem Farel or Guillaume Farel (), was a French evangelist, Protestant reformer and a founder of the Reformed Church in the Principality of Neuchâtel, in the Republic of Geneva, and in Switzerland in t ...
, Calvin was asked to use the organisational skill he had gathered as a student of law to discipline the city of
Geneva , neighboring_municipalities= Carouge, Chêne-Bougeries, Cologny, Lancy, Grand-Saconnex, Pregny-Chambésy, Vernier, Veyrier , website = ville-geneve.ch Geneva ( ; french: Genève ; frp, Genèva ; german: link=no, Genf ; it, Ginevra ; rm, Genevra ...
. His ''Ordinances of 1541'' involved a collaboration of Church affairs with the City council and consistory to bring morality to all areas of life. After the establishment of the Geneva academy in 1559, Geneva became the unofficial capital of the Protestant movement, providing refuge for Protestant exiles from all over Europe and educating them as Calvinist missionaries. The faith continued to spread after Calvin's death in 1563. Protestantism also spread from the German lands into France, where the Protestants were nicknamed
Huguenots Huguenots ( , also , ) were a religious group of French Protestants. Huguenots were French Protestants who held to the Reformed, or Calvinist, tradition of Protestantism. The term has its origin in early-16th-century France. It was frequently ...
. Calvin continued to take an interest in the French religious affairs from his base in Geneva. He regularly trained pastors to lead congregations there. Despite heavy persecution, the Reformed tradition made steady progress across large sections of the nation, appealing to people alienated by the obduracy and the complacency of the Catholic establishment. French Protestantism came to acquire a distinctly political character, made all the more obvious by the conversions of nobles during the 1550s. This established the preconditions for a series of conflicts, known as the
French Wars of Religion The French Wars of Religion were a prolonged period of war and popular unrest between Catholics and Huguenots (Reformed/Calvinist Protestants) in the Kingdom of France between 1562 and 1598. It is estimated that three million people perished in ...
. The civil wars gained impetus with the sudden death of
Henry II of France Henry II (french: Henri II; 31 March 1519 – 10 July 1559) was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559. The second son of Francis I, he became Dauphin of France upon the death of his elder brother Francis III, Duke of Brittany, ...
in 1559. Atrocity and outrage became the defining characteristics of the time, illustrated at their most intense in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of August 1572, when the Catholic party annihilated between 30,000 and 100,000 Huguenots across France. The wars only concluded when
Henry IV of France , house = Bourbon , father = Antoine of Navarre , mother = Jeanne III of Navarre , religion =Protestantism 1553-1595 Roman Catholicism 1595-1610 , signature= Signature of Henry IV of France.svg , succession1 = King of Navarr ...
issued the
Edict of Nantes The Edict of Nantes (French: ''édit de Nantes'') was signed in April 1598 by King Henry IV and granted the Calvinist Protestants of France, also known as Huguenots, substantial rights in the nation although it was still considered essentially Cat ...
, promising official toleration of the Protestant minority, but under highly restricted conditions. Catholicism remained the official
state religion A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state. A state with an official religion, while not secular, is not necessarily a theocracy, a country whose rulers ...
, and the fortunes of French Protestants gradually declined over the next century, culminating in
Edict of Fontainebleau The Edict of Fontainebleau (22 October 1685) was an edict issued by French King Louis XIV and is also known as the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The Edict of Nantes (1598) had granted Huguenots the right to practice their religion without stat ...
which revoked the Edict of Nantes and made Catholicism the sole legal religion once again. In response to the Edict of Fontainebleau,
Frederick William I, Elector of Brandenburg Frederick William (german: Friedrich Wilhelm; 16 February 1620 – 29 April 1688) was Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, thus ruler of Brandenburg-Prussia, from 1640 until his death in 1688. A member of the House of Hohenzollern, he is p ...
declared the
Edict of Potsdam The Edict of Potsdam (german: Edikt von Potsdam) was a proclamation issued by Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, in Potsdam on October 29, 1685, as a response to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by the Edict of Fonta ...
, giving free passage to Huguenot refugees. In the late 17th century many Huguenots fled to England, the Netherlands, Prussia, Switzerland, and the English and Dutch overseas colonies. A significant community in France remained in the
Cévennes , etymology= , photo=Point Sublime-Gorges du Tarn-Frankreich.jpg , photo_caption=The Gorges du Tarn , country= France , subdivision2= , subdivision2_type=Départements , parent= Massif Central , area_km2= , length_km= , length_orientation= , wi ...
region. Parallel to events in Germany, a movement began in Switzerland under the leadership of Huldrych Zwingli. Zwingli was a scholar and preacher, who in 1518 moved to Zurich. Although the two movements agreed on many issues of theology, some unresolved differences kept them separate. A long-standing resentment between the German states and the
Swiss Confederation ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federal semi-direct democracy under a multi-party assembly-independent directorial republic , leader_title1 = Federal Council , leader_name ...
led to heated debate over how much Zwingli owed his ideas to Lutheranism. The German Prince
Philip of Hesse Philip or Phillip or Philipp or Phillipp, may refer to: People * Philip (name), a given name, derived from the Greek Φίλιππος (Philippos, lit. "horse-loving" or "fond of horses"). * Philipp, a surname and a given name * Philipps, a surname ...
saw potential in creating an alliance between Zwingli and Luther. A meeting was held in his castle in 1529, now known as the Colloquy of Marburg, which has become infamous for its failure. The two men could not come to any agreement due to their disputation over one key doctrine. In 1534,
King Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for his six marriages, and, in particular, his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon) annulled. His disag ...
put an end to all papal jurisdiction in
England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continent ...
, after the Pope failed to
annul Annulment is a legal procedure within secular and religious legal systems for declaring a marriage null and void. Unlike divorce, it is usually retroactive, meaning that an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the beginning almost as ...
his marriage to
Catherine of Aragon Catherine of Aragon (; 16 December 1485 – 7 January 1536) was Queen of England from June 1509 until May 1533 as the first wife of King Henry VIII; she was previously Princess of Wales as the wife of Henry's elder brother, Arthur. The da ...
; this opened the door to reformational ideas. Reformers in the Church of England alternated between sympathies for ancient Catholic tradition and more Reformed principles, gradually developing into a tradition considered a middle way (') between the Catholic and Protestant traditions. The English Reformation followed a particular course. The different character of the
English Reformation The English Reformation took place in 16th-century England when the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. These events were, in part, associated with the wider European Protestant Reformatio ...
came primarily from the fact that it was driven initially by the political necessities of Henry VIII. King Henry decided to remove the Church of England from the authority of Rome. In 1534, the Act of Supremacy recognized Henry as ''the only Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England''. Between 1535 and 1540, under
Thomas Cromwell Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, (; 1485 – 28 July 1540) was an English lawyer and statesman who served as chief minister to King Henry VIII from 1534 to 1540, when he was beheaded on orders of the king. Cromwell was one of the strongest ...
, the policy known as the
Dissolution of the Monasteries The Dissolution of the Monasteries, occasionally referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and fri ...
was put into effect. Following a brief Catholic restoration during the reign of Mary I, a loose consensus developed during the reign of
Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death in 1603. Sometimes called the Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the Hou ...
. The
Elizabethan Religious Settlement The Elizabethan Religious Settlement is the name given to the religious and political arrangements made for England during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558–1603) that brought the English Reformation to a conclusion. The Settlement shaped the th ...
largely formed Anglicanism into a distinctive church tradition. The compromise was uneasy and was capable of veering between extreme Calvinism on the one hand and Catholicism on the other. It was relatively successful until the Puritan Revolution or
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of England's governance and issues of religious freedom. It was ...
in the 17th century. The success of the
Counter-Reformation The Counter-Reformation (), also called the Catholic Reformation () or the Catholic Revival, was the period of Catholic resurgence that was initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation. It began with the Council of Trent (1545–1563) and ...
on the Continent and the growth of a
Puritan party The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become more Protestant. ...
dedicated to further Protestant reform polarised the
Elizabethan Age The Elizabethan era is the epoch in the Tudor period of the history of England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603). Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history. The symbol of Britannia (a female personificat ...
. The early Puritan movement was a movement for reform in the Church of England. The desire was for the Church of England to resemble more closely the Protestant churches of Europe, especially Geneva. The later Puritan movement, often referred to as
dissenters A dissenter (from the Latin ''dissentire'', "to disagree") is one who dissents (disagrees) in matters of opinion, belief, etc. Usage in Christianity Dissent from the Anglican church In the social and religious history of England and Wales, and, b ...
and nonconformists, eventually led to the formation of various Reformed denominations. The
Scottish Reformation The Scottish Reformation was the process by which Scotland broke with the Papacy and developed a predominantly Calvinist national Kirk (church), which was strongly Presbyterian in its outlook. It was part of the wider European Protestant Reform ...
of 1560 decisively shaped the
Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland (CoS; sco, The Scots Kirk; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba), also known by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is the national church of Scotland. It is Presbyterian, having no head of faith or leadership group, and adheres to the Bi ...
. The Reformation in Scotland culminated ecclesiastically in the establishment of a church along Reformed lines, and politically in the triumph of English influence over that of France. John Knox is regarded as the leader of the Scottish Reformation. The
Scottish Reformation Parliament The Scottish Reformation Parliament was the assembly commencing in 1560 that claimed to pass major pieces of legislation establishing the Scottish Reformation, most importantly the Confession of Faith Ratification Act 1560; and Papal Jurisdiction Ac ...
of 1560 repudiated the pope's authority by the Papal Jurisdiction Act 1560, forbade the celebration of the Mass and approved a Protestant Confession of Faith. It was made possible by a revolution against French hegemony under the regime of the regent
Mary of Guise Mary of Guise (french: Marie de Guise; 22 November 1515 – 11 June 1560), also called Mary of Lorraine, ruled Scotland as regent from 1554 until her death. A noblewoman from the Lotharingian House of Guise, she played a prominent role in 16th-cen ...
, who had governed Scotland in the name of her absent
daughter A daughter is a female offspring- a girl or woman in relation to her parents. Daughterhood is the state of being someone's daughter. The male counterpart is a son. Analogously the name is used in several areas to show relations between groups or ...
. Some of the most important activists of the Protestant Reformation included
Jacobus Arminius Jacobus Arminius (10 October 1560 – 19 October 1609), the Latinized name of Jakob Hermanszoon, was a Dutch theologian from the Protestant Reformation period whose views became the basis of Arminianism and the Dutch Remonstrant movement. He serv ...
,
Theodore Beza Theodore Beza ( la, Theodorus Beza; french: Théodore de Bèze or ''de Besze''; June 24, 1519 – October 13, 1605) was a French Reformed Protestant theologian, reformer and scholar who played an important role in the Reformation. He was a disc ...
,
Martin Bucer Martin Bucer (early German: ''Martin Butzer''; 11 November 1491 – 28 February 1551) was a German Protestant reformer in the Reformed tradition based in Strasbourg who influenced Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican doctrines and practices. B ...

Martin Bucer
, Andreas von Carlstadt,
Heinrich Bullinger Heinrich Bullinger (18 July 1504 – 17 September 1575) was a Swiss reformer, the successor of Huldrych Zwingli as head of the Zürich church and pastor at Grossmünster. As one of the most important reformers in the Swiss reformation, Bullinger ...

Heinrich Bullinger
,
Balthasar Hubmaier Balthasar Hubmaier (c. 1480 – 10 March 1528; la , Pacimontanus) was an influential German Anabaptist leader. He was one of the most well-known and respected Anabaptist theologians of the Reformation. Early life and education He was born in Frie ...

Balthasar Hubmaier
,
Thomas Cranmer Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I. He helped build the case for the annulment of Henry's ma ...

Thomas Cranmer
,
William Farel William Farel (1489 – 13 September 1565), Guilhem Farel or Guillaume Farel (), was a French evangelist, Protestant reformer and a founder of the Reformed Church in the Principality of Neuchâtel, in the Republic of Geneva, and in Switzerland in t ...
,
Thomas Müntzer Thomas Müntzer ( – 27 May 1525) was a German preacher and theologian of the early Reformation whose opposition to both Martin Luther and the Roman Catholic Church led to his open defiance of late-feudal authority in central Germany. Müntzer wa ...
,
Laurentius Petri Laurentius Petri Nericius (1499 – 27 October 1573) was a Swedish clergyman and the first Evangelical Lutheran Archbishop of Sweden. He and his brother Olaus Petri are, together with the King Gustav Vasa, regarded as the main Lutheran reformers of ...
,
Olaus Petri Olof Persson, sometimes Petersson (6 January 1493 – 19 April 1552), better known under the Latin form of his name, Olaus Petri (or less commonly, Olavus Petri), was a clergyman, writer, judge and major contributor to the Protestant Reformation in ...
,
Philipp Melanchthon Philip Melanchthon. (born Philipp Schwartzerdt; 16 February 1497 – 19 April 1560) was a German Lutheran reformer, collaborator with Martin Luther, the first systematic theologian of the Protestant Reformation, intellectual leader of the Luthe ...
,
Menno Simons Menno Simons (1496 – 31 January 1561) was a Roman Catholic priest from the Friesland region of the Low Countries who became an influential Anabaptist religious leader. Simons was a contemporary of the Protestant Reformers and it is from his nam ...
, Louis de Berquin,
Primož Trubar Primož Trubar or Primus Truber () (1508 – 28 June 1586) was a Slovene Protestant Reformer of the Lutheran tradition, mostly known as the author of the first Slovene language printed book, the founder and the first superintendent of the Protest ...
and John Smyth. In the course of this religious upheaval, the
German Peasants' War The German Peasants' War, Great Peasants' War or Great Peasants' Revolt (german: Deutscher Bauernkrieg) was a widespread popular revolt in some German-speaking areas in Central Europe from 1524 to 1525. It failed because of intense opposition ...
of 1524–25 swept through the
Bavaria Bavaria (; German and Bavarian: ''Bayern'' ), officially the Free State of Bavaria (German and Bavarian: ''Freistaat Bayern''; ), is a landlocked state (''Land'') in the south-east of Germany. With an area of , Bavaria is the largest German state ...
n,
Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of Thuringia ( ), is a state of Germany. Located in central Germany, it covers , being the sixth smallest of the sixteen German States (including City States). It has a population of a ...
n and
Swabia upThe coat of arms of Baden-Württemberg shows the three lions passant of the arms of the Duchy of Swabia, in origin the coat of arms of the House of Hohenstaufen. Also used for Swabia (and for Württemberg-Baden during 1945–1952) are ...
n principalities. After the
Eighty Years' War The Eighty Years' War ( nl, Tachtigjarige Oorlog; es, Guerra de los Ochenta Años) or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg against Philip II ...
in the
Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowland region in northwestern Europe forming ...
and the
French Wars of Religion The French Wars of Religion were a prolonged period of war and popular unrest between Catholics and Huguenots (Reformed/Calvinist Protestants) in the Kingdom of France between 1562 and 1598. It is estimated that three million people perished in ...
, the confessional division of the states of the Holy Roman Empire eventually erupted in the
Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' War (, ) was a conflict fought primarily in modern Germany and Central Europe. It was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history. Estimates of total military and civilian deaths range from 4.5 to ...
between 1618 and 1648. It devastated much of
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German , demonym = German , government_type = Federal parliamentary republi ...
, killing between 25% and 40% of its population. The main tenets of the
Peace of Westphalia The Peace of Westphalia (german: Westfälischer Friede, ) is the collective name for two peace treaties signed in October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück and Münster. They ended the Thirty Years War and brought peace to the Holy Rom ...
, which ended the Thirty Years' War, were: * All parties would now recognize the
Peace of Augsburg The Peace of Augsburg, also called the Augsburg Settlement, was a treaty between Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and the Schmalkaldic League, signed in September 1555 at the imperial city of Augsburg. It officially ended the religious struggle betw ...
of 1555, by which each prince would have the right to determine the religion of his own state, the options being Catholicism, Lutheranism, and now Calvinism. (the principle of ''
cuius regio, eius religio () is a Latin phrase which literally means "whose realm, their religion" – meaning that the religion of the ruler was to dictate the religion of those ruled. This legal principle marked a major development in the collective (if not individual) f ...
'') * Christians living in principalities where their denomination was ''not'' the established church were guaranteed the right to practice their faith in public during allotted hours and in private at their will. * The treaty also effectively ended the papacy's pan-European political power.
Pope Innocent X Pope Innocent X ( la, Innocentius X; 6 May 1574 – 7 January 1655), born Giovanni Battista Pamphilj (or Pamphili), was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 15 September 1644 to his death in 1655. Born in Rome of a fa ...
declared the treaty "null, void, invalid, iniquitous, unjust, damnable, reprobate, inane, empty of meaning and effect for all times" in his bull '. European sovereigns, Catholic and Protestant alike, ignored his verdict.Cross, (ed.) "Westphalia, Peace of" ''Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church''


Post-Reformation

The Great Awakenings were periods of rapid and dramatic religious revival in Anglo-American religious history. The
First Great Awakening The First Great Awakening (sometimes Great Awakening) or the Evangelical Revival was a series of Christian revivals that swept Britain and its thirteen North American colonies in the 1730s and 1740s. The revival movement permanently affected Pr ...
was an evangelical and revitalization movement that swept through Protestant Europe and
British America British America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire in America from 1607 to 1783. These colonies were formally known as British America and the British West Indies before the Thirteen Colonies declared their independence in ...

British America
, especially the American colonies in the 1730s and 1740s, leaving a permanent impact on American Protestantism. It resulted from powerful preaching that gave listeners a sense of deep personal revelation of their need of salvation by Jesus Christ. Pulling away from ritual, ceremony, sacramentalism and hierarchy, it made Christianity intensely personal to the average person by fostering a deep sense of spiritual conviction and redemption, and by encouraging introspection and a commitment to a new standard of personal morality. The
Second Great Awakening The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant religious revival during the early 19th century in the United States. The Second Great Awakening, which spread religion through revivals and emotional preaching, sparked a number of reform movements. Rev ...
began around 1790. It gained momentum by 1800. After 1820, membership rose rapidly among
Baptist Baptists form a major branch of Protestant Christianity distinguished by baptizing professing Christian believers only (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism), and doing so by complete immersion (as opposed to affusion or aspersion). ...
and
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their doctrine of practice and belief from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John' ...
congregations, whose preachers led the movement. It was past its peak by the late 1840s. It has been described as a reaction against skepticism,
deism Deism ( or ; derived from Latin "deus" meaning "god") is the philosophical position that rejects revelation as a source of religious knowledge and asserts that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to establish the exi ...
, and
rationalism In philosophy, rationalism is the epistemological view that "regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge" or "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification".Lacey, A.R. (1996), ''A Dictionary of Philosophy' ...
, although why those forces became pressing enough at the time to spark revivals is not fully understood. It enrolled millions of new members in existing
evangelical Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvati ...
denominations and led to the formation of new denominations. The
Third Great Awakening The Third Great Awakening refers to a historical period proposed by William G. McLoughlin that was marked by religious activism in American history and spans the late 1850s to the early 20th century. It influenced pietistic Protestant denominatio ...
refers to a hypothetical historical period that was marked by religious activism in
American history The history of the United States started with the arrival of Native Americans in North America around 15,000 BC. Numerous indigenous cultures formed, and many disappeared in the 1500s. The arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 started the Euro ...
and spans the late 1850s to the early 20th century. It affected
pietistic Pietism () is a movement within Lutheranism that combines its emphasis on biblical doctrine with the Reformed emphasis on individual piety and living a vigorous Christian life. Although the movement initially was active exclusively within Luthera ...
Protestant denominations and had a strong element of social activism. It gathered strength from the postmillennial belief that the
Second Coming of Second Coming, c. 1700 The Second Coming (sometimes called the Second Advent or the Parousia) is a Christian and Islamic belief regarding the return of Jesus after his ascension to heaven about two thousand years ago. The idea is based on mes ...
of Christ would occur after mankind had reformed the entire earth. It was affiliated with the
Social GospelThe Social Gospel was a social movement within Protestantism that applied Christian ethics to social problems, especially issues of social justice such as economic inequality, poverty, alcoholism, crime, racial tensions, slums, unclean environment, c ...
Movement, which applied Christianity to social issues and gained its force from the Awakening, as did the worldwide missionary movement. New groupings emerged, such as the
Holiness Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity; considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspires awe or reverence among believers. The property is often ascribed to objects (a "sacr ...
, Nazarene, and
Christian Science Christian Science is a set of beliefs and practices belonging to the metaphysical family of new religious movements. It was developed in 19th-century New England by Mary Baker Eddy, who argued in her 1875 book ''Science and Health'' that sicknes ...

Christian Science
movements.Robert William Fogel, ''The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism'' (2000) The Fourth Great Awakening was a Christian religious awakening that some scholars—most notably,
Robert Fogel Robert William Fogel (; July 1, 1926 – June 11, 2013) was an American economic historian and scientist, and winner (with Douglass North) of the 1993 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. As of his death, he was the Charles R. Walgreen Dist ...
—say took place in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s, while others look at the era following
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
. The terminology is controversial. Thus, the idea of a Fourth Great Awakening itself has not been generally accepted. In 1814,
Le Réveil#REDIRECT LE {{R from other capitalisation ...
swept through Calvinist regions in Switzerland and France. In 1904, a Protestant revival in Wales had a tremendous impact on the local population. A part of British modernization, it drew many people to churches, especially Methodist and Baptist ones. A noteworthy development in 20th-century Protestant Christianity was the rise of the modern
Pentecostal movement Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a Protestant Christian movement
. Sprung from Methodist and
Wesleyan Wesleyan theology, otherwise known as Wesleyan–Arminian theology, or Methodist theology, is a theological tradition in Protestant Christianity that emphasizes the "methods" of the 18th-century evangelical reformer brothers John Wesley and Charl ...
roots, it arose out of meetings at an urban mission on Azusa Street in Los Angeles. From there it spread around the world, carried by those who experienced what they believed to be miraculous moves of God there. These Pentecost-like manifestations have steadily been in evidence throughout history, such as seen in the two Great Awakenings. Pentecostalism, which in turn birthed the
Charismatic movement The charismatic movement is the international trend of historically mainstream Christian congregations adopting beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostalism. Fundamental to the movement is the use of spiritual gifts (''charismata''). Among ...
within already established denominations, continues to be an important force in
Western Christianity 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the largest church building in the world today. Western Christianity is one of two sub-divisions of Christianity (Eastern Christianity being the other). Western Christianity is composed of the Latin ...
. In the United States and elsewhere in the world, there has been a marked rise in the evangelical wing of Protestant denominations, especially those that are more exclusively evangelical, and a corresponding decline in the mainstream liberal churches. In the post–
World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously known as the Great War or "the war to end all wars", i ...
era,
Liberal Christianity Liberal Christianity, also known as liberal theology, is a movement that interprets and reforms Christian teaching by taking into consideration modern knowledge, science and ethics. It emphasizes the importance of reason and experience over doc ...
was on the rise, and a considerable number of seminaries held and taught from a liberal perspective as well. In the post–
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
era, the trend began to swing back towards the conservative camp in America's seminaries and church structures. In Europe, there has been a general move away from religious observance and belief in Christian teachings and a move towards
secularism Secularism the principle seeking to conduct human affairs based on secular, naturalistic considerations. It is most commonly defined as the separation of religion from civic affairs and the state, and may be broadened to a similar position concer ...
. The Enlightenment is largely responsible for the spread of secularism. Several scholars have argued for a link between the rise of secularism and Protestantism, attributing it to the wide-ranging freedom in the Protestant-majority countries. In North America, South America and Australia Christian religious observance is much higher than in Europe. United States remains particularly religious in comparison to other
developed countries 450px, Classifications by the IMF and the UN in 2008.A developed country, industrialized country (or post-industrial country), more developed country (MDC), or more economically developed country (MEDC), is a sovereign state that has a high q ...
. South America, historically Catholic, has experienced a large
Evangelical Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvati ...
and
Pentecostal Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a Protestant Christian movement
infusion in the 20th and 21st centuries.


Radical Reformation

Unlike mainstream
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. T ...
,
Calvinist Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
and Zwinglian movements, the
Radical Reformation The Radical Reformation represented a response to corruption both in the Catholic Church and in the expanding Magisterial Protestant movement led by Martin Luther and many others. Beginning in Germany and Switzerland in the 16th century, the Radi ...
, which had no state sponsorship, generally abandoned the idea of the "Church visible" as distinct from the "Church invisible". It was a rational extension of the state-approved Protestant dissent, which took the value of independence from constituted authority a step further, arguing the same for the civic realm. The Radical Reformation was non-mainstream, though in parts of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, a majority would sympathize with the Radical Reformation despite the intense persecution it faced from both Catholics and Magisterial Protestants. The early
Anabaptists Anabaptism (from Neo-Latin , from the Greek : "re-" and "baptism", german: Täufer, earlier also )Since the middle of the 20th century, the German-speaking world no longer uses the term (translation: "Re-baptizers"), considering it biased. The ...
believed that their reformation must purify not only theology but also the actual lives of Christians, especially their political and social relationships.Gonzalez, ''A History of Christian Thought'', 88. Therefore, the church should not be supported by the state, neither by tithes and taxes, nor by the use of the sword;
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. It is the world's largest religion, with about 2.4 billion followers. Its adherents, known as Christians, make up a majority of the populati ...
was a matter of individual conviction, which could not be forced on anyone, but rather required a personal decision for it. Protestant ecclesial leaders such as and
Hofmann Hoffman is a surname of German origin. The original meaning in medieval times was "steward, i.e. one who manages the property of another". In English and other European languages, including Yiddish and Dutch, the name can also be spelled Hoffmann, ...
preached the invalidity of infant baptism, advocating baptism as following conversion ( "believer's baptism") instead. This was not a doctrine new to the reformers, but was taught by earlier groups, such as the
Albigenses Catharism (; from the Greek: , ''katharoi'', "the pure nes) was a Christian dualist or Gnostic movement between the 12th and 14th centuries which thrived in Southern Europe, particularly in northern Italy and southern France. Followers were de ...
in 1147. Though most of the Radical Reformers were Anabaptist, some did not identify themselves with the mainstream Anabaptist tradition.
Thomas Müntzer Thomas Müntzer ( – 27 May 1525) was a German preacher and theologian of the early Reformation whose opposition to both Martin Luther and the Roman Catholic Church led to his open defiance of late-feudal authority in central Germany. Müntzer wa ...
was involved in the
German Peasants' War The German Peasants' War, Great Peasants' War or Great Peasants' Revolt (german: Deutscher Bauernkrieg) was a widespread popular revolt in some German-speaking areas in Central Europe from 1524 to 1525. It failed because of intense opposition ...
.
Andreas Karlstadt Andreas Rudolph Bodenstein von Karlstadt (148624 December 1541), better known as Andreas Karlstadt or Andreas Carlstadt or Karolostadt, or simply as Andreas Bodenstein, was a German Protestant theologian, University of Wittenberg chancellor, a co ...
disagreed theologically with Huldrych Zwingli and Martin Luther, teaching nonviolence and refusing to baptize infants while not rebaptizing adult believers. Kaspar Schwenkfeld and
Sebastian Franck Sebastian Franck (20 January 1499 – c. 1543) was a 16th-century German freethinker, humanist, and radical reformer. Biography Franck was born in 1499 in Donauwörth, Bavaria. Because of this he styled himself Franck von Wörd. He entered the Uni ...

Sebastian Franck
were influenced by
German mysticism The Friends of God (German: Gottesfreunde; or gotesvriunde) was a medieval mystical group of both ecclesiastical and lay persons within the Catholic Church (though it nearly became a separate sect) and a center of German mysticism. It was founded ...
and
spiritualism Spiritualism is a religious movement based on the belief that the spirits of the dead exist and have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living. The afterlife, or the "spirit world", is seen by spiritualists, not as a sta ...
. In the view of many associated with the Radical Reformation, the
Magisterial Reformation The Magisterial Reformation is a phrase that "draws attention to the manner in which the Lutheran and Calvinist reformers related to secular authorities, such as princes, magistrates, or city councils", i.e. "the magistracy". While the Radical Refor ...
had not gone far enough. Radical Reformer, Andreas von Bodenstein Karlstadt, for example, referred to the Lutheran theologians at
Wittenberg Wittenberg ( , ; meaning ''White Mountain''; officially Lutherstadt Wittenberg (''Luther City Wittenberg'')), is the fourth largest town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Wittenberg is situated on the River Elbe, north of Leipzig and south-west of Ber ...
as the "new papists". Since the term "magister" also means "teacher", the Magisterial Reformation is also characterized by an emphasis on the authority of a teacher. This is made evident in the prominence of Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli as leaders of the reform movements in their respective areas of ministry. Because of their authority, they were often criticized by Radical Reformers as being too much like the Roman Popes. A more political side of the Radical Reformation can be seen in the thought and practice of
Hans Hut200px, Hans Hut Hans Hut (c. 14906 December 1527) was a very active Anabaptist in southern Germany and Austria. Life Hut was born in Haina near Römhild, south Thuringia and became a travelling bookseller. Hut was for some years sacristan in Bibra t ...

Hans Hut
, although typically Anabaptism has been associated with pacifism. Anabaptism in shape of its various diversification such as the
Amish The Amish (; pdc, Amisch; german: Amische) are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships with Swiss German and Alsatian Anabaptist origins. They are closely related to Mennonite churches. The Amish are known for simple living, pla ...
,
Mennonites The Mennonites are members of certain Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland. Through his writings, Simons articulated and formalized the teachings of ...
and
Hutterites Hutterites (german: link=no, Hutterer), also called Hutterian Brethren (German: ), are a communal ethnoreligious branch of Anabaptists, who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Reformation of the early 16th century. T ...
came out of the Radical Reformation. Later in history,
Schwarzenau Brethren The Schwarzenau Brethren, the German Baptist Brethren, Dunkers, Dunkards, Tunkers, or sometimes simply called the German Baptists, are an Anabaptist group that dissented from Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed European state churches during the ...
, and the
Apostolic Christian Church The Apostolic Christian Church (ACC) is a worldwide Christian denomination from the anabaptist tradition that practices credobaptism, closed communion, greeting other believers with a holy kiss, a capella worship in some branches (in others, singi ...
would emerge in Anabaptist circles.


Denominations

Protestants refer to specific groupings of congregations or churches that share in common foundational doctrines and the name of their groups as denominations. The term denomination (national body) is to be distinguished from branch (denominational family; tradition), communion (international body) and congregation (church). An example (this is no universal way to classify Protestant churches, as these may sometimes vary broadly in their structures) to show the difference: Branch/denominational family/tradition:
Methodism Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their doctrine of practice and belief from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John' ...

Communion/international body:
World Methodist Council The World Methodist Council (WMC), founded in 1881, is a consultative body and association of churches in the Methodist tradition. It comprises 80 member denominations in 138 countries which together represent about 80 million people. All member ch ...

Denomination/national body:
United Methodist Church The United Methodist Church (UMC) is a worldwide mainline Protestant denomination based in the United States, and a major part of Methodism. In the 19th century, its main predecessor, the Methodist Episcopal Church, was a leader in evangelicalism. ...

Congregation/church:
First United Methodist Church (Paintsville, Kentucky) First United Methodist Church is a historic church located at 505 Main St., Paintsville, Kentucky, United States. In 1989, the church was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The congregation was established in 1865. The congregation ...
Protestants reject the Catholic Church's doctrine that it is the
one true churchThe expression "one true church" refers to an ecclesiological position asserting that Jesus gave his authority in the Great Commission solely to a particular Christian institutional church— what others would call a denomination, believers of this d ...
, believing in the ''invisible church'', which consists of all who profess faith in Jesus Christ. Some Protestant denominations are less accepting of other denominations, and the basic orthodoxy of some is questioned by most of the others. Individual denominations also have formed over very subtle theological differences. Other denominations are simply regional or ethnic expressions of the same beliefs. Because the five solas are the main tenets of the Protestant faith,
non-denominational A non-denominational person or organization is not restricted to any particular or specific religious denomination. Overview The term has been used in the context of various faiths including Jainism, Baháʼí Faith, Zoroastrianism, Unitarian Univ ...
groups and organizations are also considered Protestant. Various ecumenical movements have attempted cooperation or reorganization of the various divided Protestant denominations, according to various models of union, but divisions continue to outpace unions, as there is no overarching authority to which any of the churches owe allegiance, which can authoritatively define the faith. Most denominations share common beliefs in the major aspects of the Christian faith while differing in many secondary doctrines, although what is major and what is secondary is a matter of idiosyncratic belief. Several countries have established their
national church A national church is a Christian church associated with a specific ethnic group or nation state. The idea was notably discussed during the 19th century, during the emergence of modern nationalism. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in a draft discussing th ...
es, linking the ecclesiastical structure with the state. Jurisdictions where a Protestant denomination has been established as a state religion include several
Nordic countries The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, where they are most commonly known as ''Norden'' (literally "the North"). The region includes the sovereign states of Denm ...
; Denmark (including Greenland),
the Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands, or simply Faroes (also written ''Faeroes''; ; fo, Føroyar, ; da, Færøerne), are a North Atlantic archipelago located north-northwest of Scotland, and about halfway between Norway and Iceland. Like Greenland, it is an au ...
( its church being independent since 2007), IcelandConstitution of the Republic of Iceland
Article 62
Government of Iceland
and NorwayLøsere bånd, men fortsatt statskirke
, ABC Nyheter
have established
Evangelical Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. T ...
churches.
Tuvalu Tuvalu ( ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands) is an island country in the Polynesian subregion of Oceania in the Pacific Ocean. Its islands are situated about midway between Hawaii and Australia. They lie east-northeast of the Santa Cruz ...

Tuvalu
has the only established church in Reformed tradition in the world, while
Tonga Tonga (; Tongan: ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga (Tongan: ''Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga''), is a Polynesian country, and also an archipelago comprising 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. The archipelago's total surface area is ...

Tonga
in the Methodist tradition. The
Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
is the officially established religious institution in England, and also the
Mother Church Mother church or matrice is a term depicting the Christian Church as a mother in her functions of nourishing and protecting the believer. It may also refer to the primary church of a Christian denomination or diocese, i.e. Cathedral or a metropolit ...
of the worldwide
Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion after the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. Founded in 1867 in London, the communion has more than 85 million members within the Church of England and other nati ...
. In 1869, Finland was the first Nordic country to disestablish its Evangelical Lutheran church by introducing the Church Act. Although the church still maintains a special relationship with the state, it is not described as a
state religion A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state. A state with an official religion, while not secular, is not necessarily a theocracy, a country whose rulers ...
in the Finnish Constitution or other laws passed by the
Finnish Parliament The Parliament of Finland (, ) is the unicameral supreme legislature of Finland, founded on 9 May 1906. In accordance with the Constitution of Finland, sovereignty belongs to the people, and that power is vested in the Parliament. The Parliam ...

Finnish Parliament
. In 2000, Sweden was the second Nordic country to do so.


United and uniting churches

United and uniting churches are churches formed from the merger or other form of union of two or more different Protestant denominations. Historically, unions of Protestant churches were enforced by the state, usually in order to have a stricter control over the religious sphere of its people, but also other organizational reasons. As modern
Christian ecumenism Ecumenism (), also spelled oecumenism, is the concept and principle in which Christians who belong to different Christian denominations work together to develop closer relationships among their churches and promote Christian unity. The adjectiv ...
progresses, unions between various Protestant traditions are becoming more and more common, resulting in a growing number of united and uniting churches. Some of the recent major examples are the
United Protestant Church of France The United Protestant Church of France (french: Église protestante unie de France) is the main and largest Protestant church in France, created in 2013 through the unification of the Reformed Church of France and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of ...
(2013) and the
Protestant Church in the Netherlands The Protestant Church in the Netherlands ( nl, de Protestantse Kerk in Nederland, abbreviated PKN) is the largest Protestant denomination in the Netherlands, being both Reformed (Calvinist) and Lutheran. It was founded on 1 May 2004 as the merger ...
(2004). As mainline Protestantism shrinks in
Europe Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the continental landmass of Eurasia, and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlant ...
and
North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to ...

North America
due to the rise of
secularism Secularism the principle seeking to conduct human affairs based on secular, naturalistic considerations. It is most commonly defined as the separation of religion from civic affairs and the state, and may be broadened to a similar position concer ...
,
Reformed Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
and
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. T ...
denominations merge, often creating large nationwide denominations. The phenomenon is much less common among
evangelical Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvati ...
,
nondenominational A non-denominational person or organization is not restricted to any particular or specific religious denomination. Overview The term has been used in the context of various faiths including Jainism, Baháʼí Faith, Zoroastrianism, Unitarian Univ ...
and
charismatic Charisma () is compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. Scholars in sociology, political science, psychology, and management reserve the term for a type of leadership seen as extraordinary; in these fields, the term ...
churches as new ones arise and plenty of them remain independent of each other. Perhaps the oldest official united church is found in
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German , demonym = German , government_type = Federal parliamentary republi ...
, where the
Evangelical Church in Germany The Evangelical Church in Germany (german: Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland, abbreviated EKD) is a federation of twenty Lutheran, Reformed (Calvinist) and United (e.g. Prussian Union) Protestant regional churches and denominations in Germany, whi ...
is a federation of
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. T ...
, United ( Prussian Union) and
Reformed churches Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
, a union dating back to 1817. The first of the series of unions was at a synod in
Idstein Idstein () is a town of about 25,000 inhabitants in the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis in the ''Regierungsbezirk'' of Darmstadt in Hesse, Germany. Because of its well preserved historical Altstadt (Old Town) it is part of the ''Deutsche Fachwerkstraße'' ( ...
to form the
Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau The Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau (german: Evangelische Kirche in Hessen und Nassau, EKHN) is a United Protestant church body in the German states of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate. There is no bishop and therefore no cathedral. One of its ...
in August 1817, commemorated in naming the church of Idstein Unionskirche one hundred years later. Around the world, each united or uniting church comprises a different mix of predecessor Protestant denominations. Trends are visible, however, as most united and uniting churches have one or more predecessors with heritage in the
Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
and many are members of the
World Alliance of Reformed Churches The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) was a fellowship of more than 200 churches with roots in the 16th-century Reformation, and particularly in the theology of John Calvin. Its headquarters was in Geneva, Switzerland. They are now merged ...
.


Major branches

Protestants can be differentiated according to how they have been influenced by important movements since the Reformation, today regarded as branches. Some of these movements have a common lineage, sometimes directly spawning individual denominations. Due to the earlier stated multitude of denominations, this section discusses only the largest denominational families, or branches, widely considered to be a part of Protestantism. These are, in alphabetical order:
Adventist Adventism is a branch of Protestant Christianity that believes in the imminent Second Coming (or "Second Advent") of Jesus Christ. It originated in the 1830s in the United States during the Second Great Awakening when Baptist preacher William Mil ...
,
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; they are also called ''E ...
,
Baptist Baptists form a major branch of Protestant Christianity distinguished by baptizing professing Christian believers only (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism), and doing so by complete immersion (as opposed to affusion or aspersion). ...
, Calvinist (Reformed),
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. T ...
,
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their doctrine of practice and belief from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John' ...
and
Pentecostal Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a Protestant Christian movement
. A small but historically significant
Anabaptist Anabaptism (from Neo-Latin , from the Greek : "re-" and "baptism", german: Täufer, earlier also )Since the middle of the 20th century, the German-speaking world no longer uses the term (translation: "Re-baptizers"), considering it biased. The ...
branch is also discussed. The chart below shows the mutual relations and historical origins of the main Protestant denominational families, or their parts. Due to factors such as
Counter-Reformation The Counter-Reformation (), also called the Catholic Reformation () or the Catholic Revival, was the period of Catholic resurgence that was initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation. It began with the Council of Trent (1545–1563) and ...
and the legal principle of ''
Cuius regio, eius religio () is a Latin phrase which literally means "whose realm, their religion" – meaning that the religion of the ruler was to dictate the religion of those ruled. This legal principle marked a major development in the collective (if not individual) f ...
'', many people lived as
Nicodemite A nicodemite is a person suspected of publicly misrepresenting their religious faith to conceal their true beliefs. The term is normally disparaging. It was introduced into 16th century religious discourse, and persisted in use into the 18th centu ...
s, where their professed religious affiliations were more or less at odds with the movement they sympathized with. As a result, the boundaries between the denominations do not separate as cleanly as this chart indicates. When a population was suppressed or persecuted into feigning an adherence to the dominant faith, over the generations they continued to influence the church they outwardly adhered to. Because Calvinism was not specifically recognized in the Holy Roman Empire until the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, many Calvinists lived as Crypto-Calvinists. Due to Counter-Reformation related suppressions in Catholic lands during the 16th through 19th centuries, many Protestants lived as Crypto-Protestants. Meanwhile, in Protestant areas, Catholics sometimes lived as crypto-papists, although in continental Europe emigration was more feasible so this was less common.


Adventism

Adventism began in the 19th century in the context of the
Second Great Awakening The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant religious revival during the early 19th century in the United States. The Second Great Awakening, which spread religion through revivals and emotional preaching, sparked a number of reform movements. Rev ...
revival in the United States. The name refers to belief in the imminent Second Coming of Christ, Second Coming (or "Second Advent") of Jesus Christ. William Miller (preacher), William Miller started the Adventist movement in the 1830s. His followers became known as Millerism, Millerites. Although the Adventist churches hold much in common, their Christian theology, theologies differ on whether the intermediate state is Soul sleep, unconscious sleep or consciousness, whether the ultimate punishment of the wicked is annihilationism, annihilation or eternal torment, the nature of immortality, whether or not the wicked are resurrected after the millennium, and whether the sanctuary of refers to the one in heavenly sanctuary, heaven or one on earth. The movement has encouraged the examination of the whole
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ''tà biblía'', "the books") is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred to Christians, Jews, Samaritans, Rastafari and others. It appears in the form of an anthology, a compilati ...
, leading Seventh-day Adventists and some smaller Adventist groups to observe the Sabbath in Seventh-day Adventism, Sabbath. The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has compiled that church's core beliefs in the 28 Fundamental Beliefs (1980 and 2005), which use Biblical references as justification. In 2010, Adventism claimed some 22 million believers scattered in various independent churches. The largest church within the movement—the Seventh-day Adventist Church—has more than 18 million members. File:James and Ellen White.jpg, James Springer White and his wife, Ellen G. White founded the Seventh-day Adventist Church. File:Mozambique baptism1.JPG, An Adventist pastor baptizes a young man in Mozambique. File:Loma Linda University Church 01.jpg, Loma Linda University Seventh-day Adventist Church in Loma Linda, California, Loma Linda, California, United States.


Anabaptism

Anabaptism traces its origins to the
Radical Reformation The Radical Reformation represented a response to corruption both in the Catholic Church and in the expanding Magisterial Protestant movement led by Martin Luther and many others. Beginning in Germany and Switzerland in the 16th century, the Radi ...
. Anabaptists believe in delaying baptism until the candidate confesses his or her faith. Although some consider this movement to be an offshoot of Protestantism, others see it as a distinct one. The
Amish The Amish (; pdc, Amisch; german: Amische) are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships with Swiss German and Alsatian Anabaptist origins. They are closely related to Mennonite churches. The Amish are known for simple living, pla ...
,
Hutterites Hutterites (german: link=no, Hutterer), also called Hutterian Brethren (German: ), are a communal ethnoreligious branch of Anabaptists, who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Reformation of the early 16th century. T ...
, and
Mennonites The Mennonites are members of certain Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland. Through his writings, Simons articulated and formalized the teachings of ...
are direct descendants of the movement.
Schwarzenau Brethren The Schwarzenau Brethren, the German Baptist Brethren, Dunkers, Dunkards, Tunkers, or sometimes simply called the German Baptists, are an Anabaptist group that dissented from Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed European state churches during the ...
, Bruderhof, and the
Apostolic Christian Church The Apostolic Christian Church (ACC) is a worldwide Christian denomination from the anabaptist tradition that practices credobaptism, closed communion, greeting other believers with a holy kiss, a capella worship in some branches (in others, singi ...
are considered later developments among the Anabaptists. The name ''Anabaptist'', meaning "one who baptizes again", was given them by their persecutors in reference to the practice of re-baptizing converts who already had been baptized as infants. Anabaptists required that baptismal candidates be able to make their own confessions of faith and so rejected infant baptism, baptism of infants. The early members of this movement did not accept the name ''Anabaptist'', claiming that since infant baptism was unscriptural and null and void, the baptizing of believers was not a re-baptism but in fact their first real baptism. As a result of their views on the nature of baptism and other issues, Anabaptists were heavily persecuted during the 16th century and into the 17th by both Magisterial Reformation, Magisterial Protestants and Catholics. Since the middle of the 20th century, the German-speaking world no longer uses the term "Wiedertäufer" (translation: "Re-baptizers") considering it biased. The term "Täufer" (translation: "Baptizers") is now used, which is considered more impartial. From the perspective of their persecutors, the "Baptizers" baptized for the second time those "who as infants had already been baptized". Since the denigrative term ''Anabaptist'' signifies ''re-baptizing'', it is considered a polemic term and therefore has been dropped from use in modern German. However, in the English-speaking world it is still in use in order to distinguish the "Baptizers" more clearly from the "Baptists" who emerged later. While most Anabaptists adhered to a Sermon on the Mount#Analysis and interpretation, literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount, which precluded taking oaths, participating in military actions, and participating in civil government, some who practiced re-baptism felt otherwise.For example, the Münster Rebellion, followers of Thomas Müntzer and
Balthasar Hubmaier Balthasar Hubmaier (c. 1480 – 10 March 1528; la , Pacimontanus) was an influential German Anabaptist leader. He was one of the most well-known and respected Anabaptist theologians of the Reformation. Early life and education He was born in Frie ...

Balthasar Hubmaier
.
They were thus technically Anabaptists, even though conservative
Amish The Amish (; pdc, Amisch; german: Amische) are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships with Swiss German and Alsatian Anabaptist origins. They are closely related to Mennonite churches. The Amish are known for simple living, pla ...
,
Mennonites The Mennonites are members of certain Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland. Through his writings, Simons articulated and formalized the teachings of ...
, and
Hutterites Hutterites (german: link=no, Hutterer), also called Hutterian Brethren (German: ), are a communal ethnoreligious branch of Anabaptists, who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Reformation of the early 16th century. T ...
and some historians tend to consider them as outside of true Anabaptism. Anabaptist reformers of the Radical Reformation are divided into Radical and the so-called Second Front. Some important Radical Reformation theologians were John of Leiden,
Thomas Müntzer Thomas Müntzer ( – 27 May 1525) was a German preacher and theologian of the early Reformation whose opposition to both Martin Luther and the Roman Catholic Church led to his open defiance of late-feudal authority in central Germany. Müntzer wa ...
, Kaspar Schwenkfeld von Ossig, Kaspar Schwenkfeld,
Sebastian Franck Sebastian Franck (20 January 1499 – c. 1543) was a 16th-century German freethinker, humanist, and radical reformer. Biography Franck was born in 1499 in Donauwörth, Bavaria. Because of this he styled himself Franck von Wörd. He entered the Uni ...

Sebastian Franck
,
Menno Simons Menno Simons (1496 – 31 January 1561) was a Roman Catholic priest from the Friesland region of the Low Countries who became an influential Anabaptist religious leader. Simons was a contemporary of the Protestant Reformers and it is from his nam ...
. Second Front Reformers included Hans Denck, Conrad Grebel,
Balthasar Hubmaier Balthasar Hubmaier (c. 1480 – 10 March 1528; la , Pacimontanus) was an influential German Anabaptist leader. He was one of the most well-known and respected Anabaptist theologians of the Reformation. Early life and education He was born in Frie ...

Balthasar Hubmaier
and Felix Manz. Many Anabaptists today still use the ''Ausbund'', which is the oldest hymnal still in continuous use. File:Dirk.willems.rescue.ncs.jpg, Dirk Willems saves his pursuer. This act of mercy led to his recapture, after which he was burned at the stake. File:Lancaster County Amish 03.jpg, An
Amish The Amish (; pdc, Amisch; german: Amische) are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships with Swiss German and Alsatian Anabaptist origins. They are closely related to Mennonite churches. The Amish are known for simple living, pla ...
family in a horse-drawn square buggy. File:Alexanderwohl-church.jpg, Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church in rural Goessel, Kansas, Goessel, Kansas, United States.


Anglicanism

Anglicanism comprises the
Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
and churches which are historically tied to it or hold similar beliefs, worship practices and church structures. The word ''Anglican'' originates in ', a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the ''English Church''. There is no single "Anglican Church" with universal juridical authority, since each national or regional church has full autonomy. As the name suggests, the communion is an association of churches in full communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. The great majority of Anglicans are members of churches which are part of the international
Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion after the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. Founded in 1867 in London, the communion has more than 85 million members within the Church of England and other nati ...
, which has 85 million adherents. The Church of England declared its independence from the Catholic Church at the time of the
Elizabethan Religious Settlement The Elizabethan Religious Settlement is the name given to the religious and political arrangements made for England during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558–1603) that brought the English Reformation to a conclusion. The Settlement shaped the th ...
. Many of the new Anglican formularies of the mid-16th century corresponded closely to those of contemporary Reformed tradition. These reforms were understood by one of those most responsible for them, the then Archbishop of Canterbury,
Thomas Cranmer Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I. He helped build the case for the annulment of Henry's ma ...

Thomas Cranmer
, as navigating a middle way between two of the emerging Protestant traditions, namely Lutheranism and Calvinism. By the end of the century, the retention in Anglicanism of many traditional liturgical forms and of the episcopate was already seen as unacceptable by those promoting the most developed Protestant principles. Unique to Anglicanism is the ''Book of Common Prayer'', the collection of services that worshippers in most Anglican churches used for centuries. While it has since undergone many revisions and Anglican churches in different countries have developed other service books, the Book of Common Prayer is still acknowledged as one of the ties that bind the Anglican Communion together. File:Thomas Cranmer by Gerlach Flicke.jpg,
Thomas Cranmer Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I. He helped build the case for the annulment of Henry's ma ...

Thomas Cranmer
, one of the most influential figures in shaping Anglican theology and self-identity. File:Book of Common Prayer 1760.jpg, The various editions of the ''Book of Common Prayer'' contain the words of structured services of worship in the Anglican Church. File:Westminster abbey west.jpg, Coronation of the British monarch, British coronations are held in Westminster Abbey, a royal peculiar under the direct jurisdiction of the Monarch of the United Kingdom, monarch.


Baptists

Baptists subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism), and that it must be done by complete Immersion baptism, immersion (as opposed to affusion or Aspersion, sprinkling). Other Dogma, tenets of Baptist churches include soul competency (liberty), salvation through Sola fide, faith alone, Sola scriptura, Scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local Congregationalist polity, congregation. Baptists recognize two ministerial offices, pastors and deacons. Baptist churches are widely considered to be Protestant churches, though some Baptists disavow this identity.Buescher, John.
Baptist Origins

Teaching History
Retrieved 23 September 2011.
Diverse from their beginning, those identifying as Baptists today differ widely from one another in what they believe, how they worship, their attitudes toward other Christians, and their understanding of what is important in Christian discipleship. Historians trace the earliest church labeled ''Baptist'' back to 1609 in Amsterdam, with English Dissenters, English Separatist John Smyth as its pastor.Gourley, Bruce. "A Very Brief Introduction to Baptist History, Then and Now." ''The Baptist Observer.'' In accordance with his reading of the New Testament, he rejected baptism of infants and instituted baptism only of believing adults. Baptist practice spread to England, where the General Baptists considered Christ's atonement to extend to all people, while the Particular Baptists believed that it extended only to Election (Christianity), the elect. In 1638, Roger Williams (theologian), Roger Williams established the first Baptist church in America, first Baptist congregation in the North American colonies. In the mid-18th century, the
First Great Awakening The First Great Awakening (sometimes Great Awakening) or the Evangelical Revival was a series of Christian revivals that swept Britain and its thirteen North American colonies in the 1730s and 1740s. The revival movement permanently affected Pr ...
increased Baptist growth in both New England and the South.Baptist
" 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
The
Second Great Awakening The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant religious revival during the early 19th century in the United States. The Second Great Awakening, which spread religion through revivals and emotional preaching, sparked a number of reform movements. Rev ...
in the South in the early 19th century increased church membership, as did the preachers' lessening of support for Abolitionism in the United States, abolition and manumission of slavery, which had been part of the 18th-century teachings. Baptist missionaries have spread their church to every continent. The Baptist World Alliance reports more than 41 million members in more than 150,000 congregations. In 2002, there were over 100 million Baptists and Baptistic group members worldwide and over 33 million in North America. The largest Baptist association is the Southern Baptist Convention, with the membership of associated churches totaling more than 14 million. File:Roger Williams statue by Franklin Simmons.jpg, Roger Williams was an early proponent of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. File:Baptism by immersion.jpg, Baptists subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed believer's baptism, only for professing believers. File:First Baptist Church in America from Angell St 2.jpg, The First Baptist Church in America. Baptists are roughly one-third of Protestantism in the United States, U.S. Protestants.


Calvinism

Calvinism, also called the Reformed tradition, was advanced by several theologians such as
Martin Bucer Martin Bucer (early German: ''Martin Butzer''; 11 November 1491 – 28 February 1551) was a German Protestant reformer in the Reformed tradition based in Strasbourg who influenced Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican doctrines and practices. B ...

Martin Bucer
,
Heinrich Bullinger Heinrich Bullinger (18 July 1504 – 17 September 1575) was a Swiss reformer, the successor of Huldrych Zwingli as head of the Zürich church and pastor at Grossmünster. As one of the most important reformers in the Swiss reformation, Bullinger ...

Heinrich Bullinger
, Peter Martyr Vermigli, and Huldrych Zwingli, but this branch of Christianity bears the name of the French reformer John Calvin because of his prominent influence on it and because of his role in the confessional and ecclesiastical debates throughout the 16th century. Today, this term also refers to the doctrines and practices of the
Reformed churches Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
of which Calvin was an early leader. Less commonly, it can refer to the individual teaching of Calvin himself. The particulars of Calvinist theology may be stated in a number of ways. Perhaps the best known summary is contained in the five points of Calvinism, though these points identify the Calvinist view on Christian soteriology, soteriology rather than summarizing the system as a whole. Broadly speaking, Calvinism stresses the sovereignty or rule of God in all things—in salvation but also in all of life. This concept is seen clearly in the doctrines of predestination (Calvinism), predestination and total depravity. The biggest Reformed association is the World Communion of Reformed Churches with more than 80 million members in 211 member denominations around the world. There are more conservative Reformed federations like the World Reformed Fellowship and the International Conference of Reformed Churches, as well as List of Reformed denominations, independent churches. File:John Calvin - Young.jpg,
John Calvin John Calvin (; french: Jean Calvin ; born Jehan Cauvin; 10 July 150927 May 1564) was a French theologian, pastor and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian t ...

John Calvin
's theological thought influenced a variety of Congregational church, Congregational, Continental Reformed church, Continental Reformed, United and uniting churches, United, Presbyterianism, Presbyterian, and other Reformed churches. File:Lorimer, Ordination.jpg, The Ordination of Elders in a Scottish Kirk, by John Henry Lorimer, 1891. File:First_Congregational_Church,_Cheshire_CT.jpg, A Congregational church in Cheshire, Connecticut, Cheshire, Connecticut, United States.


Lutheranism

Lutheranism identifies with the Theology of Martin Luther, theology of Martin Luther—a Germans, German monk and priest, ecclesiastical reformer, and theologian. Lutheranism advocates a doctrine of justification "by Sola gratia, grace alone through Sola fide, faith alone on the basis of Sola scriptura, Scripture alone", the doctrine that scripture is the final authority on all matters of faith, rejecting the assertion made by Catholic leaders at the Council of Trent that authority comes from both Scriptures and Sacred tradition, Tradition. In addition, Lutherans accept the teachings of the first four ecumenical councils of the undivided Christian Church. Unlike the Reformed tradition, Lutherans retain many of the Christian liturgy, liturgical practices and Sacraments#Lutheran teaching, sacramental teachings of the pre-Reformation Church, with a particular emphasis on the Sacramental union, Eucharist, or Lord's Supper. Lutheran theology differs from Reformed theology in Scholastic Lutheran Christology, Christology, the purpose of Law and Gospel#Lutheran and Reformed differences, God's Law, divine Irresistible grace#Lutheran, grace, the concept of Perseverance of the saints#Lutheran view, perseverance of the saints, and Predestination#Lutheranism, predestination. Today, Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism. With approximately 80 million adherents, it constitutes the third most common Protestant confession after historically Pentecostal, Pentecostal denominations and
Anglicanism Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; they are also called ''E ...
. The Lutheran World Federation, the largest global communion of Lutheran churches represents over 72 million people. Both of these figures miscount Lutherans worldwide as many members of more generically Protestant LWF member church bodies do not self-identify as Lutheran or attend congregations that self-identify as Lutheran. Additionally, there are other international organizations such as the Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum, International Lutheran Council and the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference, as well as List of Lutheran denominations, Lutheran denominations that are not necessarily a member of an international organization. File:LutherRose.jpg, Luther rose, Luther's rose seal, a symbol of Lutheranism File:EinFesteBurg.jpg, Luther composed hymns still used today, including "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" File:Lucas Cranach (I) - The Law and the Gospel.jpg, Moses and Elijah direct the sinner looking for salvation to the cross in this painting illustrating Luther's Theology of the Cross (as opposed to a Theology of Glory).


Methodism

Methodism identifies principally with the Wesleyanism, theology of John Wesley—an
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; they are also called ''E ...
priest and evangelist. This evangelical movement originated as a Christian revival, revival within the 18th-century
Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
and became a separate Church following Wesley's death. Because of vigorous missionary activity, the movement spread throughout the British Empire, the United States, and beyond, today claiming approximately 80 million adherents worldwide. Originally it appealed especially to laborers and slaves. Soteriology, Soteriologically, most Methodists are Arminian, emphasizing that Christ accomplished salvation for every human being, and that humans must exercise an act of the will to receive it (as opposed to the traditional Calvinist doctrine of monergism). Methodism is traditionally low church in liturgy, although this varies greatly between individual congregations; the Wesleys themselves greatly valued the Anglican liturgy and tradition. Methodism is known for its rich musical tradition; John Wesley's brother, Charles Wesley, Charles, was instrumental in writing much of the hymnody of the Methodist Church, and many other eminent hymn writers come from the Methodist tradition. File:John Wesley by George Romney crop.jpg, John Wesley, the primary founder of the Methodism. File:Methodistcommunion3.jpg, A United Methodist Church, United Methodist elder celebrating the
Eucharist The Eucharist (; also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper among other names) is a Christian rite considered a sacrament in most churches, an ordinance in others. According to the New Testament, the rite was instituted by Jesus Christ ...
. File:Methodist Central Hall.JPG, Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, London.


Pentecostalism

Pentecostalism is a movement that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God in Christianity, God through the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The term ''Pentecostal'' is derived from Pentecost, the Greek language, Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks. For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the
Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. In Judaism, it refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the universe or over his creatur ...
upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the Second Chapter of Acts, second chapter of the Book of Acts. This branch of Protestantism is distinguished by belief in the baptism with the Holy Spirit as an experience separate from Conversion to Christianity, conversion that enables a Christian to live a Holy Spirit–filled and empowered life. This empowerment includes the use of spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues and divine healing—two other defining characteristics of Pentecostalism. Because of their commitment to biblical authority, spiritual gifts, and the miraculous, Pentecostals tend to see their movement as reflecting the same kind of spiritual power and teachings that were found in the Apostolic Age of the early church. For this reason, some Pentecostals also use the term ''Apostolic'' or ''Full Gospel'' to describe their movement. Pentecostalism eventually spawned hundreds of new denominations, including large groups such as the Assemblies of God and the Church of God in Christ, both in the United States and elsewhere. There are over 279 million Pentecostals worldwide, and the movement is growing in many parts of the world, especially the global South. Since the 1960s, Pentecostalism has increasingly gained acceptance from other Christian traditions, and Pentecostal beliefs concerning Spirit baptism and spiritual gifts have been embraced by non-Pentecostal Christians in Protestant and Catholic Church, Catholic churches through the Charismatic Movement. Together, Charismatic Christianity, Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity numbers over 500 million adherents.. File:Charlesparham.png, Charles Fox Parham, who associated glossolalia with the baptism in the Holy Spirit. File:RH Worship Team.jpg, Contemporary Christian worship in Rock Harbor Church, Costa Mesa, United States. File:Ravensburg Freie Christengemeinde Saal.jpg, A Pentecostal church in Ravensburg, Germany.


Other Protestants

There are many other Protestant denominations that do not fit neatly into the mentioned branches, and are far smaller in membership. Some groups of individuals who hold basic Protestant tenets identify themselves simply as "Christians" or "born-again Christians". They typically distance themselves from the confessionalism (religion), confessionalism or creedalism of other Christian communities by calling themselves "Non-denominational Christianity, non-denominational" or "
evangelical Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvati ...
". Often founded by individual pastors, they have little affiliation with historic denominations. Hussitism follows the teachings of Czech reformer Jan Hus, who became the best-known representative of the Bohemian Reformation and one of the forerunners of the Protestant Reformation. An early hymnal was the hand-written ''Jistebnice hymn book''. This predominantly religious movement was propelled by social issues and strengthened Czech people, Czech national awareness. Among present-day Christians, Hussite traditions are represented in the
Moravian Church , image = AgnusDeiWindow.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , caption = Church emblem featuring the Agnus Dei.Stained glass at the Rights Chapel of Trinity Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States , main_classification = Protestant , or ...
, Unity of the Brethren, and the refounded Czechoslovak Hussite Church, Czechoslovak Hussite churches.Nĕmec, Ludvík "The Czechoslovak heresy and schism: the emergence of a national Czechoslovak church," American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1975, The Plymouth Brethren are a conservative, low church, evangelical New religious movement, movement, whose history can be traced to Dublin, Ireland, in the late 1820s, originating from
Anglicanism Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; they are also called ''E ...
. Among other beliefs, the group emphasizes '. Brethren generally see themselves not as a denomination, but as a network, or even as a collection of overlapping networks, of like-minded independent churches. Although the group refused for many years to take any denominational name to itself—a stance that some of them still maintain—the title ''The Brethren'', is one that many of their number are comfortable with in that the Bible designates all believers as ''brethren''. The Holiness movement refers to a set of beliefs and practices emerging from 19th-century Methodism, and a number of evangelical denominations, parachurch organizations, and movements that emphasized those beliefs as a central doctrine. There are an estimated 12 million adherents in Holiness movement churches. The Salvation Army and The Wesleyan Church are notable examples. Quakers, or Friends, are members of a family of religious movements collectively known as the Religious Society of Friends. The central unifying doctrine of these movements is the priesthood of all believers. Many Friends view themselves as members of a Christian denomination. They include those with evangelicalism, evangelical, Holiness movement, holiness, Mainline Protestant, liberal, and traditional Conservative Friends, conservative Quaker understandings of
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. It is the world's largest religion, with about 2.4 billion followers. Its adherents, known as Christians, make up a majority of the populati ...
. Unlike many other groups that emerged within Christianity, the Religious Society of Friends has actively tried to avoid creeds and hierarchical structures.
Unitarianism Unitarianism (from Latin ''unitas'' "unity, oneness", from ''unus'' "one") is a Christian theological movement named for its belief that the God in Christianity is one entity, as opposed to the Trinity (tri- from Latin ''tres'' "three") which in ...
is sometimes considered Protestant due to its origins in the Reformation and strong cooperation with other Protestants since the 16th century. It is excluded due to its Nontrinitarian theological nature. Unitarians can be regarded as Nontrinitarian Protestants, or simply Nontrinitarians. Unitarianism has been popular in the Transylvania, region of Transylvania within today's Romania, England, and the United States. It originated almost simultaneously in Transylvania and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. File:Fox by Lely 2.jpg, George Fox was an English dissenter and a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers or Friends. File:Friedensthal Moravian.jpg, Friedensthal Moravian Church Christiansted, United States Virgin Islands, Christiansted, St Croix, USVI founded in 1755. File:Armee-du-salut.jpg, A night shelter of The Salvation Army in Geneva, Switzerland.


Interdenominational movements

Image:Messiah Cathedral in Night.jpg, Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church megachurch There are also Christian movements which cross denominational lines and even branches, and cannot be classified on the same level previously mentioned forms.
Evangelicalism Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvati ...
is a prominent example. Some of those movements are active exclusively within Protestantism, some are Christian-wide. Transdenominational movements are sometimes capable of affecting parts of the Catholic Church, such as does it the Charismatic Movement, which aims to incorporate beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostals into the various branches of Christianity. Neo-charismatic churches are sometimes regarded as a subgroup of the Charismatic Movement. Both are put under a common label of Charismatic Christianity (so-called ''Renewalists''), along with Pentecostals. Nondenominational Christianity, Nondenominational churches and various house churches often adopt, or are akin to one of these movements. Megachurches are usually influenced by interdenominational movements. Globally, these large congregations are a significant development in Protestant Christianity. In the United States, the phenomenon has more than quadrupled in the past two decades. It has since spread worldwide. The chart below shows the mutual relations and historical origins of the main interdenominational movements and other developments within Protestantism.


Evangelicalism

Evangelicalism, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide, transdenominational movement which maintains that the essence of
the gospel In Christianity, the gospel, or the Good News, is the news of the imminent coming of the Kingdom of GodMark 1:14-15. This message is expounded upon as a narrative in the four canonical gospels, and as theology in many of the New Testament epistl ...
consists in the doctrine of salvation by Grace in Christianity, grace through Faith in Christianity, faith in Jesus, Jesus Christ's atonement in Christianity, atonement. Evangelicals are
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koine Greek title ''Christós'' (Χριστ ...
who believe in the centrality of the conversion or Born again (Christianity), "born again" experience in receiving salvation, believe in the authority of the Bible as God's revelation to humanity and have a strong commitment to evangelism or sharing the Christian message. It gained great momentum in the 18th and 19th centuries with the emergence of
Methodism Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their doctrine of practice and belief from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John' ...
and the Great Awakenings in Britain and North America. The origins of Evangelicalism are usually traced back to the English
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their doctrine of practice and belief from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John' ...
movement, Nicolaus Zinzendorf, the
Moravian Church , image = AgnusDeiWindow.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , caption = Church emblem featuring the Agnus Dei.Stained glass at the Rights Chapel of Trinity Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States , main_classification = Protestant , or ...
,
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. T ...
pietism, Presbyterianism and Puritanism. Among leaders and major figures of the Evangelical Protestant movement were John Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards (theologian), Jonathan Edwards, Billy Graham, Harold John Ockenga, John Stott and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. There are an estimated 285,480,000 Evangelicals, corresponding to 13% of the Christianity by country, Christian population and 4% of the World population, total world population. The Americas, Africa and Asia are home to the majority of Evangelicals. The United States has the largest concentration of Evangelicals. Evangelicalism is gaining popularity both in and outside the English-speaking world, especially in Latin America and the developing world. File:Wilberforce john rising.jpg, William Wilberforce, a British evangelical abolitionist. File:Bundesarchiv Bild 194-0798-29, Düsseldorf, Veranstaltung mit Billy Graham.jpg, Billy Graham, a prominent evangelical revivalist, preaching in Duisburg, Duisburg, Germany in 1954. File:Église Nouvelle Vie culte.jpg, Worship service at Église Nouvelle vie, an evangelical Pentecostal church in Longueuil, Canada. File:Hämeenlinna modern protestant church.JPG, An Evangelical Protestant church in Hämeenlinna,
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland , ), officially the Republic of Finland (, ), is a Nordic country located in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gul ...
.


Charismatic movement

The Charismatic movement is the international trend of historically mainstream congregations adopting beliefs and practices similar to
Pentecostals Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a Protestant Christian movement
. Fundamental to the movement is the use of spiritual gifts. Among Protestants, the movement began around 1960. In America, Episcopalian Dennis Bennett (priest), Dennis Bennett is sometimes cited as one of the charismatic movement's seminal influence. In the United Kingdom, Colin Urquhart, Michael Harper (priest), Michael Harper, David Watson (evangelist), David Watson and others were in the vanguard of similar developments. The Massey University, Massey conference in New Zealand, 1964 was attended by several Anglicans, including the Rev. Ray Muller, who went on to invite Bennett to New Zealand in 1966, and played a leading role in developing and promoting the ''Life in the Spirit'' seminars. Other Charismatic movement leaders in New Zealand include Bill Subritzky. Larry Christenson, a Lutheran theologian based in San Pedro, California, did much in the 1960s and 1970s to interpret the charismatic movement for Lutherans. A very large annual conference regarding that matter was held in Minneapolis. Charismatic Lutheran congregations in Minnesota became especially large and influential; especially "Hosanna!" in Lakeville, and North Heights in St. Paul. The next generation of Lutheran charismatics cluster around the Alliance of Renewal Churches. There is considerable charismatic activity among young Lutheran leaders in California centered around an annual gathering at Robinwood Church in Huntington Beach. Richard A. Jensen's ''Touched by the Spirit'' published in 1974, played a major role of the Lutheran understanding to the charismatic movement. In Congregational and Presbyterian churches which profess a traditionally
Calvinist Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
or Reformed theology there are differing views regarding present-day continuationism, continuation or cessationism, cessation of the gifts (') of the Spirit. Generally, however, Reformed charismatics distance themselves from renewal movements with tendencies which could be perceived as overemotional, such as Word of Faith, Toronto Blessing, Brownsville Revival and Lakeland Revival. Prominent Reformed charismatic denominations are the Sovereign Grace Churches and the Every Nation Churches in the US, in Great Britain there is the Newfrontiers churches and movement, which leading figure is Terry Virgo. A minority of Seventh-day Adventist Church, Seventh-day Adventists today are charismatic. They are strongly associated with those holding more Progressive Adventism, "progressive" Adventist beliefs. In the early decades of the church charismatic or ecstatic phenomena were commonplace.


Neo-charismatic churches

Neo-charismatic churches are a category of Local church, churches in the Christian Renewal (religion), Renewal movement. Neo-charismatics include the Third Wave of the Holy Spirit, Third Wave, but are broader. Now more numerous than Pentecostals (first wave) and charismatics (second wave) combined, owing to the remarkable growth of postdenominational churches, postdenominational and independent charismatic groups.. Neo-charismatics believe in and stress the post-Biblical availability of gifts of the Holy Spirit, including glossolalia, healing, and prophecy. They practice laying on of hands and seek the "infilling" of the
Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. In Judaism, it refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the universe or over his creatur ...
. However, a specific experience of baptism with the Holy Spirit may not be requisite for experiencing such gifts. No single form, governmental structure, or style of church service characterizes all neo-charismatic services and churches. Some nineteen thousand denominations, with approximately 295 million individual adherents, are identified as neo-charismatic. Neo-charismatic tenets and practices are found in many independent, nondenominational or post-denominational congregations, with strength of numbers centered in the African independent churches, among the Han Chinese House Church, house-church movement, and in Latin American churches.


Other Protestant developments

Plenty of other movements and thoughts to be distinguished from the widespread trans-denominational ones and branches appeared within Protestant Christianity. Some of them are also in evidence today. Others appeared during the centuries following the Reformation and disappeared gradually with the time, such as much of Pietism. Some inspired the current trans-denominational ones, such as
Evangelicalism Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvati ...
which has its foundation in the Christian fundamentalism.


Arminianism

Arminianism is based on Christian theology, theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian
Jacobus Arminius Jacobus Arminius (10 October 1560 – 19 October 1609), the Latinized name of Jakob Hermanszoon, was a Dutch theologian from the Protestant Reformation period whose views became the basis of Arminianism and the Dutch Remonstrant movement. He serv ...
(1560–1609) and his historic supporters known as Remonstrants. His teachings held to the five solae of the Reformation, but they were distinct from particular teachings of
Martin Luther Martin Luther, (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German professor of theology, priest, author, composer, Augustinian monk, and a seminal figure in the Reformation. Luther was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. He cam ...
,
Huldrych Zwingli Huldrych Zwingli or Ulrich Zwingli (1 January 1484 – 11 October 1531) was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland, born during a time of emerging Swiss patriotism and increasing criticism of the Swiss mercenary system. He attended the ...
,
John Calvin John Calvin (; french: Jean Calvin ; born Jehan Cauvin; 10 July 150927 May 1564) was a French theologian, pastor and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian t ...

John Calvin
, and other
Protestant Reformers Protestant Reformers were those theologians whose careers, works and actions brought about the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. In the context of the Reformation, Martin Luther was the first reformer (sharing his views publicly in 1517 ...
. Jacobus Arminius was a student of
Theodore Beza Theodore Beza ( la, Theodorus Beza; french: Théodore de Bèze or ''de Besze''; June 24, 1519 – October 13, 1605) was a French Reformed Protestant theologian, reformer and scholar who played an important role in the Reformation. He was a disc ...
at the Theological University of Geneva. Arminianism is known to some as a soteriological diversification of Calvinism. However, to others, Arminianism is a reclamation of early Church theological consensus. Dutch Arminianism was originally articulated in the Remonstrance (1610), a theological statement signed by 45 ministers and submitted to the States General of the Netherlands. Many Christian denominations have been influenced by Arminian views on the will of man being freed by grace prior to regeneration, notably the
Baptists Baptists form a major branch of Protestant Christianity distinguished by baptizing professing Christian believers only (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism), and doing so by complete immersion (as opposed to affusion or aspersion). ...
in the 16th century, the Methodists in the 18th century and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the 19th century. The original beliefs of Jacobus Arminius himself are commonly defined as Arminianism, but more broadly, the term may embrace the teachings of Hugo Grotius, John Wesley, and others as well. Arminianism#Classical Arminianism, Classical Arminianism and Arminianism#Wesleyan Arminianism, Wesleyan Arminianism are the two main schools of thought. Wesleyan Arminianism is often identical with Methodism. The two systems of Calvinism and Arminianism share both history and many doctrines, and the History of Christianity, history of Christian theology. However, because of their differences over the doctrines of divine predestination and election, many people view these schools of thought as opposed to each other. In short, the difference can be seen ultimately by whether God allows His desire to save all to be resisted by an individual's will (in the Arminian doctrine) or if God's grace is irresistible and limited to only some (in Calvinism). Some Calvinists assert that the Arminian perspective presents a synergistic system of Salvation and therefore is not only by grace, while Arminians firmly reject this conclusion. Many consider the theological differences to be crucial differences in doctrine, while others find them to be relatively minor.


Pietism

Pietism was an influential movement within
Lutheranism Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. T ...
that combined the 17th-century Lutheran principles with the
Reformed Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
emphasis on individual piety and living a vigorous Christianity, Christian life. It began in the late 17th century, reached its zenith in the mid-18th century, and declined through the 19th century, and had almost vanished in America by the end of the 20th century. While declining as an identifiable Lutheran group, some of its theological tenets influenced Protestantism generally, inspiring the Anglicanism, Anglican priest John Wesley to begin the Methodism, Methodist movement and Alexander Mack to begin the Schwarzenau Brethren, Brethren movement among
Anabaptists Anabaptism (from Neo-Latin , from the Greek : "re-" and "baptism", german: Täufer, earlier also )Since the middle of the 20th century, the German-speaking world no longer uses the term (translation: "Re-baptizers"), considering it biased. The ...
. Though Pietism shares an emphasis on personal behavior with the Puritan movement, and the two are often confused, there are important differences, particularly in the concept of the role of religion in government. File:Philipp Jakob Spener.jpg, Philipp Jakob Spener, German pioneer and founder of Pietism. File:Pietism.JPG, Pietism has been a strong cultural influence in Scandinavia. File:Der breite und der schmale Weg 2008.jpg, ''The Broad and the Narrow Way'', a popular German Pietist painting, 1866.


Puritanism, English dissenters and nonconformists

The Puritans were a group of English Protestants in the Christianity in the 16th century, 16th and Christianity in the 17th century, 17th centuries, which sought to purify the
Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
of what they considered to be Catholic practices, maintaining that the church was only partially reformed. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some of the returning Marian exiles, clergy exiled under Mary I shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the
Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
. Puritans were blocked from changing the established church from within, and were severely restricted in England by laws controlling the practice of religion. Their beliefs, however, were transported by the emigration of congregations to the Netherlands (and later to New England), and by evangelical clergy to Ireland (and later into Wales), and were spread into lay society and parts of the educational system, particularly certain colleges of the University of Cambridge. The first Protestant sermon delivered in England was in Cambridge, with the pulpit that this sermon was delivered from surviving to today. They took on distinctive beliefs about clerical dress and in opposition to the Episcopal polity, episcopal system, particularly after the 1619 conclusions of the Synod of Dort they were resisted by the English bishops. They largely adopted Puritan Sabbatarianism, Sabbatarianism in the 17th century, and were influenced by millennialism. They formed, and identified with various religious groups advocating greater purity of worship and doctrine, as well as personal and group pietism, piety. Puritans adopted a Reformed theology, but they also took note of radical criticisms of Zwingli in Zurich and Calvin in Geneva. In church polity, some advocated for separation from all other Christians, in favor of autonomous gathered churches. These separatist and independent (religion), independent strands of Puritanism became prominent in the 1640s, when the supporters of a Presbyterian polity in the Westminster Assembly were unable to forge a new English national church. Nonconforming Protestants along with the Protestant refugees from continental Europe were the primary founders of the United States of America. File:John.Cotton.cropped.jpg, John Cotton (minister), John Cotton, who sparked the Antinomian Controversy with his free grace theology. File:Landing-Bacon.PNG, Pilgrim Fathers landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620. File:OldShipEntrance.jpg, Built in 1681, the Old Ship Church in Hingham, Massachusetts is the oldest church in America in continuous ecclesiastical use.


Neo-orthodoxy and paleo-orthodoxy

A non-fundamentalist rejection of liberal Christianity along the lines of the Christian existentialism of Søren Kierkegaard, who attacked the Right Hegelians#Hegelian theologians, Hegelian state churches of his day for "dead orthodoxy," neo-orthodoxy is associated primarily with Karl Barth, Jürgen Moltmann, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Neo-orthodoxy sought to counter-act the tendency of liberal theology to make theological accommodations to modern scientific perspectives. Sometimes called "crisis theology," in the existentialist sense of the word crisis, also sometimes called ''neo-evangelicalism'', which uses the sense of "evangelical" pertaining to continental European Protestants rather than American evangelicalism. "Evangelical" was the originally preferred label used by Lutherans and Calvinists, but it was replaced by the names some Catholics used to Labelling#Labelling in argumentation, label a heresy with the name of its founder. Paleo-orthodoxy is a movement similar in some respects to neo-evangelicalism but emphasizing the ancient Christian consensus of the undivided church of the first millennium AD, including in particular the early creeds and church councils as a means of properly understanding the scriptures. This movement is cross-denominational. A prominent theologian in this group is Thomas Oden, a Methodist.


Christian fundamentalism

In reaction to liberal Bible critique, fundamentalism arose in the 20th century, primarily in the United States, among those denominations most affected by Evangelicalism. Fundamentalist theology tends to stress Biblical inerrancy and Biblical literalism. Toward the end of the 20th century, some have tended to confuse evangelicalism and fundamentalism; however, the labels represent very distinct differences of approach that both groups are diligent to maintain, although because of fundamentalism's dramatically smaller size it often gets classified simply as an ultra-conservative branch of evangelicalism.


Modernism and liberalism

Modernism and liberalism do not constitute rigorous and well-defined schools of theology, but are rather an inclination by some writers and teachers to integrate Christian thought into the spirit of the Age of Enlightenment. New understandings of history and the natural sciences of the day led directly to new approaches to theology. Its opposition to the fundamentalist teaching resulted in religious debates, such as the Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy within the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America in the 1920s.


Protestant culture

Although the Reformation was a religious movement, it also had a strong impact on all other aspects of life: marriage and family, education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy, and the arts. Protestant churches reject the idea of a celibate priesthood and thus allow their clergy to marry. Many of their families contributed to the development of intellectual elites in their countries. Since about 1950, women have entered the ministry, and some have assumed leading positions (e.g. bishops), in most Protestant churches. As the Reformers wanted all members of the church to be able to read the Bible, education on all levels got a strong boost. By the middle of the eighteenth century, the literacy rate in England was about 60 percent, in Scotland 65 percent, and in Sweden eight of ten men and women were able to read and to write. Colleges and universities were founded. For example, the
Puritans The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become more Protestant. ...
who established Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1628 founded Harvard College only eight years later. About a dozen other colleges followed in the 18th century, including Yale (1701). Pennsylvania also became a center of learning. Members of mainline Protestant denominations have played White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, leadership roles in many aspects of American life, including politics, business, science, the arts, and education. They founded most of the country's leading institutes of higher education.McKinney, William. "Mainline Protestantism 2000." ''Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science'', Vol. 558, Americans and Religions in the Twenty-First Century (July 1998), pp. 57–66.


Thought and work ethic

The Protestant concept of God and man allows believers to use all their God-given faculties, including the power of reason. That means that they are allowed to explore God's creation and, according to Genesis 2:15, make use of it in a responsible and sustainable way. Thus a cultural climate was created that greatly enhanced the development of the humanities and the sciences. Another consequence of the Protestant understanding of man is that the believers, in gratitude for their election and redemption in Christ, are to follow God's commandments. Industry, frugality, calling, discipline, and a strong sense of responsibility are at the heart of their moral code. In particular, Calvin rejected luxury. Therefore, craftsmen, industrialists, and other businessmen were able to reinvest the greater part of their profits in the most efficient machinery and the most modern production methods that were based on progress in the sciences and technology. As a result, productivity grew, which led to increased profits and enabled employers to pay higher wages. In this way, the economy, the sciences, and technology reinforced each other. The chance to participate in the economic success of technological inventions was a strong incentive to both inventors and investors. The Protestant work ethic was an important force behind the unplanned and uncoordinated mass action (sociology), mass action that influenced the development of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution. This idea is also known as the "Protestant ethic thesis." However, eminent historian Fernand Braudel (d. 1985), a leader of the important Annales School wrote: "all historians have opposed this tenuous theory [the Protestant Ethic], although they have not managed to be rid of it once and for all. Yet it is clearly false. The northern countries took over the place that earlier had been so long and brilliantly been occupied by the old capitalist centers of the Mediterranean. They invented nothing, either in technology or business management." Social scientist Rodney Stark moreover comments that "during their critical period of economic development, these northern centers of capitalism were Catholic, not Protestant—the Reformation still lay well into the future," while British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper (d. 2003) said, "The idea that large-scale industrial capitalism was ideologically impossible before the Reformation is exploded by the simple fact that it existed." In a factor analysis of the latest wave of World Values Survey data, Arno Tausch (Corvinus University of Budapest) found that Protestantism emerges to be very close to combining religion and the traditions of liberalism. The Global Value Development Index, calculated by Tausch, relies on the World Values Survey dimensions such as trust in the state of law, no support for shadow economy, postmaterial activism, support for democracy, a non-acceptance of violence, xenophobia and racism, trust in transnational capital and Universities, confidence in the market economy, supporting gender justice, and engaging in environmental activism, etc. Episcopal Church (United States), Episcopalians and Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Presbyterians, as well as other White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, WASPs, tend to be considerably wealthier and better educated (having Academic degree, graduate and post-graduate degrees per capita) than most other religious groups in United States, and are disproportionately represented in the upper reaches of American business, law and politics, especially the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party. Numbers of the most Old money, wealthy and affluent American families as the Vanderbilts and the Astor family, Astors, Rockefeller family, Rockefeller, Du Pont family, Du Pont, Roosevelt family, Roosevelt, Forbes family, Forbes, Whitney family, Whitneys, the Junius Spencer Morgan, Morgans and Harrimans are Mainline Protestant families.


Science

Protestantism has had an important influence on science. According to the Merton Thesis, there was a positive correlation between the rise of English Puritanism and German Pietism on the one hand and early experimental science on the other.Sztompka, 2003 The Merton Thesis has two separate parts: Firstly, it presents a theory that science changes due to an accumulation of observations and improvement in experimental technique and methodology; secondly, it puts forward the argument that the popularity of science in 17th-century England and the religious demography of the Royal Society (English scientists of that time were predominantly Puritans or other Protestants) can be explained by a correlation between Protestantism and the scientific values.Gregory, 1998 Merton focused on English Puritanism and German Pietism as having been responsible for the development of the scientific revolution of the 17th and 18th centuries. He explained that the connection between religious affiliation and interest in science was the result of a significant synergy between the ascetic Protestant values and those of modern science.Becker, 1992 Protestant values encouraged scientific research by allowing science to identify God's influence on the world—his creation—and thus providing a religious justification for scientific research. According to ''Scientific Elite: Nobel Laureates in the United States'' by Harriet Zuckerman, a review of American Nobel prizes awarded between 1901 and 1972, 72% of American Nobel Prizes, Nobel Prize laureates identified a Protestant background.Harriet Zuckerman,
Scientific Elite: Nobel Laureates in the United States
' New York, The Free Press, 1977, p. 68: Protestants turn up among the American-reared laureates in slightly greater proportion to their numbers in the general population. Thus 72 percent of the seventy-one laureates but about two-thirds of the American population were reared in one or another Protestant denomination-)
Overall, 84% of all the Nobel Prizes awarded to Americans in Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Chemistry, 60% in Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Medicine, and 59% in Nobel Prize in Physics, Physics between 1901 and 1972 were won by Protestants. According to ''100 Years of Nobel Prize (2005)'', a review of Nobel prizes awarded between 1901 and 2000, 65% of Nobel Prizes, Nobel Prize Laureates, List of Christian Nobel laureates, have identified Christianity in its various forms as their religious preference (423 prizes).Baruch A. Shalev,
100 Years of Nobel Prizes
' (2003), Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, p. 57: between 1901 and 2000 reveals that 654 Laureates belong to 28 different religion Most 65% have identified Christianity in its various forms as their religious preference. While separating Catholics from Protestants among Christians proved difficult in some cases, available information suggests that more Protestants were involved in the scientific categories and more Catholics were involved in the Literature and Peace categories. Atheists, agnostics, and freethinkers comprise 11% of total Nobel Prize winners; but in the category of Literature, these preferences rise sharply to about 35%. A striking fact involving religion is the high number of Laureates of the Jewish faith—over 20% of total Nobel Prizes (138); including: 17% in Chemistry, 26% in Medicine and Physics, 40% in Economics and 11% in Peace and Literature each. The numbers are especially startling in light of the fact that only some 14 million people (0.02% of the world's population) are Jewish. By contrast, only 5 Nobel Laureates have been of the Muslim faith—1% of total number of Nobel prizes awarded—from a population base of about 1.2 billion (20% of the world's population)
While 32% have identified with Protestantism in its various forms (208 prizes), although Protestant comprise 12% to 13% of the world's population.


Government

In the Middle Ages, the Church and the worldly authorities were closely related. Martin Luther separated the religious and the worldly realms in principle (doctrine of the two kingdoms). The believers were obliged to use reason to govern the worldly sphere in an orderly and peaceful way. Luther's doctrine of the priesthood of all believers upgraded the role of laymen in the church considerably. The members of a congregation had the right to elect a minister and, if necessary, to vote for his dismissal (Treatise ''On the right and authority of a Christian assembly or congregation to judge all doctrines and to call, install and dismiss teachers, as testified in Scripture''; 1523). Calvin strengthened this basically democratic approach by including elected laymen (church elders, presbyters) in his representative church government. The Huguenots added regional synods and a national synod, whose members were elected by the congregations, to Calvin's system of church self-government. This system was taken over by the other reformed churches and was adopted by some Lutherans beginning with those in United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, Jülich-Cleves-Berg during the 17th century. Politically, Calvin favored a mixture of aristocracy and democracy. He appreciated the advantages of democracy: "It is an invaluable gift, if God allows a people to freely elect its own authorities and overlords." Calvin also thought that earthly rulers lose their divine right and must be put down when they rise up against God. To further protect the rights of ordinary people, Calvin suggested separating political powers in a system of checks and balances (separation of powers). Thus he and his followers resisted political Absolute monarchy, absolutism and paved the way for the rise of modern democracy. Besides England, the Netherlands were, under Calvinist leadership, the freest country in Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It granted asylum to philosophers like Baruch Spinoza and Pierre Bayle. Hugo Grotius was able to teach his natural-law theory and a relatively liberal interpretation of the Bible. Consistent with Calvin's political ideas, Protestants created both the English and the American democracies. In seventeenth-century England, the most important persons and events in this process were the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of England's governance and issues of religious freedom. It was ...
, Oliver Cromwell, John Milton, John Locke, the Glorious Revolution, the English Bill of Rights, and the Act of Settlement 1701, Act of Settlement. Later, the British took their democratic ideals to their colonies, e.g. Australia, New Zealand, and India. In North America, Plymouth Colony (Pilgrim Fathers; 1620) and Massachusetts Bay Colony (1628) practised democratic self-rule and separation of powers. These Congregationalists were convinced that the democratic form of government was the will of God. The Mayflower Compact was a social contract.


Rights and liberty

Protestants also took the initiative in advocating for religious freedom. Freedom of conscience had a high priority on the theological, philosophical, and political agendas since Luther refused to recant his beliefs before the Diet of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Imperium Romanum; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 180 ...
at Worms (1521). In his view, faith was a free work of the Holy Spirit and could, therefore, not be forced on a person. The persecuted Anabaptists and Huguenots demanded freedom of conscience, and they practiced separation of church and state. In the early seventeenth century, Baptists like John Smyth and Thomas Helwys published tracts in defense of religious freedom. Their thinking influenced John Milton and John Locke's stance on tolerance. Under the leadership of Baptist Roger Williams, Congregationalist Thomas Hooker, and Quaker William Penn, respectively, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania combined democratic constitutions with freedom of religion. These colonies became safe havens for persecuted religious minorities, including Jews. The United States Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the American United States Bill of Rights, Bill of Rights with its fundamental human rights made this tradition permanent by giving it a legal and political framework. The great majority of American Protestants, both clergy and laity, strongly supported the independence movement. All major Protestant churches were represented in the First and Second Continental Congresses. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the American democracy became a model for numerous other countries and regions throughout the world (e.g., Latin America, Japan, and Germany). The strongest link between the American and French Revolutions was Marquis de Lafayette, an ardent supporter of the American constitutional principles. The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was mainly based on Lafayette's draft of this document. The Declaration by United Nations and Universal Declaration of Human Rights also echo the American constitutional tradition. Democracy, social-contract theory, separation of powers, religious freedom, separation of church and state—these achievements of the Reformation and early Protestantism were elaborated on and popularized by Enlightenment (spiritual), Enlightenment thinkers. Some of the philosophers of the English, Scottish, German, and Swiss Enlightenment—Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, John Toland, David Hume, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Christian Wolff (philosopher), Christian Wolff, Immanuel Kant, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau—had Protestant backgrounds. For example, John Locke, whose political thought was based on "a set of Protestant Christian assumptions", derived the equality of all humans, including the equality of the genders ("Adam and Eve"), from Genesis 1, 26–28. As all persons were created equally free, all governments needed "the consent of the governed." Also, other human rights were advocated for by some Protestants. For example, torture was abolished in Prussia in 1740, slavery in Britain in 1834 and in the United States in 1865 (William Wilberforce, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln—against Southern Protestants). Hugo Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf were among the first thinkers who made significant contributions to international law. The Geneva Convention, an important part of humanitarian international law, was largely the work of Henry Dunant, a reformed pietist. He also founded the Red Cross.


Social teaching

Protestants have founded hospitals, homes for disabled or elderly people, educational institutions, organizations that give aid to developing countries, and other social welfare agencies. In the nineteenth century, throughout the Anglo-American world, numerous dedicated members of all Protestant denominations were active in social reform movements such as the abolition of slavery, prison reforms, and woman suffrage. As an answer to the "social question" of the nineteenth century, Germany under Chancellor Otto von Bismarck introduced insurance programs that led the way to the welfare state (health insurance, accident insurance, disability insurance, old-age pensions). To Bismarck this was "practical Christianity". These programs, too, were copied by many other nations, particularly in the Western world. The Young Men's Christian Association was founded by Congregationalist George Williams (YMCA), George Williams, aimed at empowering young people.


Arts

The arts have been strongly inspired by Protestant beliefs. Martin Luther, Paul Gerhardt, George Wither, Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, William Cowper, and many other authors and composers created well-known church hymns. Musicians like Heinrich Schütz, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Henry Purcell, Johannes Brahms, Philipp Nicolai and Felix Mendelssohn composed great works of music. Prominent painters with Protestant background were, for example, Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein the Younger, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Lucas Cranach the Younger, Rembrandt, and Vincent van Gogh. World literature was enriched by the works of Edmund Spenser, John Milton, John Bunyan, John Donne, John Dryden, Daniel Defoe, William Wordsworth, Jonathan Swift, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Edgar Allan Poe, Matthew Arnold, Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Theodor Fontane, Washington Irving, Robert Browning, Emily Dickinson, Emily Brontë, Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thomas Stearns Eliot, John Galsworthy, Thomas Mann, William Faulkner, John Updike, and many others. File:Martin-Luther-Denkmal, Worms.JPG, Luther Monument (Worms), Luther Monument in Worms, which features some of the Reformation's crucial figures. File:ReformationsdenkmalGenf2.jpg, The Reformation Wall, International Monument to the Reformation in Geneva, Switzerland. File:Albrecht Dürer - Adoration of the Trinity (Landauer Altar) - Google Art Project.jpg, The ''Adoration of the Trinity '' by Albrecht Dürer. File:Lucas Cranach d. Ä. - The Lamentation of Christ - The Schleißheim Crucifixion - Alte Pinakothek.jpg, The ''Crucifixion of Christ'' by Lucas Cranach the Elder. File:Lucas Cranach d. J. - Adam and Eve - WGA05729.jpg, The ''Adam and Eve'' by Lucas Cranach the Younger. File:Huguenot lovers on St. Bartholomew's Day.jpg, ''A Huguenot, on St. Bartholomew's Day, Refusing to Shield Himself from Danger by Wearing the Roman Catholic Badge'' by John Everett Millais. File:Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn - Return of the Prodigal Son - Google Art Project.jpg, ''The Return of the Prodigal Son'', detail, c. 1669 by Rembrandt. File:Vincent van Gogh - The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise, View from the Chevet - Google Art Project.jpg, ''The Church at Auvers'', 1890. Musée d'Orsay, Paris. By Vincent van Gogh.


Catholic responses

The view of the Catholic Church is that Protestant denominations cannot be considered churches but rather that they are ''ecclesial communities'' or ''specific faith-believing communities'' because their ordinances and doctrines are not historically the same as the Catholic sacraments and dogmas, and the Protestant communities have no sacramental ministerial priesthood and therefore lack true
apostolic succession Deodatus; Claude Bassot (1580-1630).">Deodatus of Nevers">Deodatus; Claude Bassot (1580-1630). Apostolic succession is the method whereby the ministry of the Christian Church is held to be derived from the apostles by a continuous succession, which ...
. According to Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev) the
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops ...
shares the same view on the subject. Contrary to how the Protestant Reformers were often characterized, the concept of a ''catholic'' or universal Church was not brushed aside during the Protestant Reformation. On the contrary, the visible unity of the ''catholic'' or ''universal church'' was seen by the Protestant reformers as an important and essential doctrine of the Reformation. The Magisterial reformers, such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Huldrych Zwingli, believed that they were reforming the Catholic Church, which they viewed as having become corrupted. Each of them took very seriously the charges of schism and innovation, denying these charges and maintaining that it was the Catholic Church that had left them. The Protestant Reformers formed a new and radically different theological opinion on ecclesiology, that the visible Church is "catholic" (lower-case "c") rather than "Catholic" (upper-case "C"). Accordingly, there is not an indefinite number of parochial, congregational or national churches, constituting, as it were, so many ecclesiastical individualities, but one great spiritual republic of which these various organizations form a part, although they each have very different opinions. This was markedly far-removed from the traditional and historic Catholic understanding that the Roman Catholic Church was the one true Church of Christ. Yet in the Protestant understanding, the ''visible church'' is not a genus, so to speak, with so many species under it. In order to justify their departure from the Catholic Church, Protestants often posited a new argument, saying that there was no real visible Church with divine authority, only a ''spiritual, invisible, and hidden church''—this notion began in the early days of the Protestant Reformation. Wherever the Magisterial Reformation, which received support from the ruling authorities, took place, the result was a reformed national Protestant church envisioned to be a part of the whole ''invisible church'', but disagreeing, in certain important points of doctrine and doctrine-linked practice, with what had until then been considered the normative reference point on such matters, namely the Papacy and central authority of the Catholic Church. The Reformed churches thus believed in some form of Catholicity, founded on their doctrines of the five solas and a visible ecclesiastical organization based on the 14th- and 15th-century Conciliarism, Conciliar movement, rejecting the papacy and papal infallibility in favor of ecumenical councils, but rejecting the latest ecumenical council, the Council of Trent. Religious unity therefore became not one of doctrine and identity but one of invisible character, wherein the unity was one of faith in Jesus Christ, not common identity, doctrine, belief, and collaborative action. There are Protestants, especially of the
Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
, that either reject or down-play the designation ''Protestant'' because of the negative idea that the word invokes in addition to its primary meaning, preferring the designation ''Reformed'', ''Evangelical'' or even ''Reformed Catholic'' expressive of what they call a ''Reformed Catholicity'' and defending their arguments from the traditional Protestant confessions.


Ecumenism

The ecumenical movement has had an influence on Mainline (Protestant), mainline churches, beginning at least in 1910 with the Edinburgh Missionary Conference. Its origins lay in the recognition of the need for cooperation on the mission field in Africa, Asia and Oceania. Since 1948, the World Council of Churches has been influential, but ineffective in creating a united church. There are also ecumenical bodies at regional, national and local levels across the globe; but schisms still far outnumber unifications. One, but not the only expression of the ecumenical movement, has been the move to form united churches, such as the Church of South India, the Church of North India, the US-based United Church of Christ, the United Church of Canada, the Uniting Church in Australia and the United Church of Christ in the Philippines which have rapidly declining memberships. There has been a strong engagement of Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox churches in the ecumenical movement, though the reaction of individual Orthodox theologians has ranged from tentative approval of the aim of Christian unity to outright condemnation of the perceived effect of watering down Orthodox doctrine. A Protestant baptism is held to be valid by the Catholic Church if given with the trinitarian formula and with the intent to baptize. However, as the ordination of Protestant ministers is not recognized due to the lack of
apostolic succession Deodatus; Claude Bassot (1580-1630).">Deodatus of Nevers">Deodatus; Claude Bassot (1580-1630). Apostolic succession is the method whereby the ministry of the Christian Church is held to be derived from the apostles by a continuous succession, which ...
and the disunity from Catholic Church, all other sacraments (except marriage) performed by Protestant denominations and ministers are not recognized as valid. Therefore, Protestants desiring full communion with the Catholic Church are not re-baptized (although they are confirmed) and Protestant ministers who become Catholics may be ordained to the Catholic priesthood, priesthood after a period of study. In 1999, the representatives of Lutheran World Federation and Catholic Church signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, apparently resolving the conflict over the nature of Justification (theology), justification which was at the root of the Protestant Reformation, although Confessional Lutherans reject this statement. This is understandable, since there is no compelling authority within them. On 18 July 2006, delegates to the World Methodist Conference voted unanimously to adopt the Joint Declaration.


Spread and demographics

There are more than 900 million Protestants worldwide,Jay Diamond, Larry. Plattner, Marc F. and Costopoulos, Philip J. ''World Religions and Democracy''. 2005, p. 119
link
(saying "''Not only do Protestants presently constitute 13 percent of the world's population—about 800 million people—but since 1900 Protestantism has spread rapidly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.''")
among approximately 2.4 billion Christians.~34% of ~7.2 billion world population (under the section 'People') In 2010, a total of more than 800 million included 300 million in Sub-Saharan Africa, 260 million in the Americas, 140 million in Asia-Pacific region, 100 million in Europe and 2 million in Middle East-North Africa. Protestants account for nearly forty percent of Christians worldwide and more than one tenth of the total human population. Various estimates put the percentage of Protestants in relation to the total number of world's Christians at 33%, 36%, 36.7%, and 40%, while in relation to the world's population at 11.6% and 13%. In European countries which were most profoundly influenced by the Reformation, Protestantism still remains the most practiced religion. These include the
Nordic countries The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, where they are most commonly known as ''Norden'' (literally "the North"). The region includes the sovereign states of Denm ...
and the United Kingdom. In other historical Protestant strongholds such as Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Latvia, and Estonia, it remains one of the most popular religions. Although Czech Republic was the site of Hussites, one of the most significant pre-reformation movements, there are only few Protestant adherents; mainly due to historical reasons like persecution of Protestants by the Catholic Habsburgs, restrictions during the Communism, Communist rule, and also the ongoing secularization. Over the last several decades, religious practice has been declining as secularization has increased. According to a 2019 study about Religiosity in the European Union in 2019 by Eurobarometer, Protestants made up 9% of the EU population. According to Pew Research Center, Protestants constituted nearly one fifth (or 18%) of the Christianity in Europe, continent's Christian population in 2010. Clarke and Beyer estimate that Protestants constituted 15% of all Europeans in 2009, while Noll claims that less than 12% of them lived in Europe in 2010. Changes in worldwide Protestantism over the last century have been significant. Since 1900, Protestantism has spread rapidly in Africa, Asia, Oceania and Latin America. That caused Protestantism to be called a primarily non-Western religion. Much of the growth has occurred after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
, when decolonization of Africa and abolition of Anti-Protestantism, various restrictions against Protestants in Latin American countries occurred. According to one source, Protestants constituted respectively 2.5%, 2%, 0.5% of Latin Americans, Africans and Asians. In 2000, percentage of Protestants on mentioned continents was 17%, more than 27% and 6%, respectively. According to Mark A. Noll, 79% of Anglicans lived in the United Kingdom in 1910, while most of the remainder was found in the United States and across the British Commonwealth. By 2010, 59% of Anglicans were found in Africa. In 2010, more Protestants lived in India than in the UK or Germany, while Protestants in Brazil accounted for as many people as Protestants in the UK and Germany combined. Almost as many lived in each of Nigeria and China as in all of Europe. China is home to world's largest Protestant minority. Protestantism is growing in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania, while declining in Anglo America and Europe, with some exceptions such as France, where it was eradicated after the abolition of the
Edict of Nantes The Edict of Nantes (French: ''édit de Nantes'') was signed in April 1598 by King Henry IV and granted the Calvinist Protestants of France, also known as Huguenots, substantial rights in the nation although it was still considered essentially Cat ...
by the
Edict of Fontainebleau The Edict of Fontainebleau (22 October 1685) was an edict issued by French King Louis XIV and is also known as the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The Edict of Nantes (1598) had granted Huguenots the right to practice their religion without stat ...
and the following persecution of
Huguenots Huguenots ( , also , ) were a religious group of French Protestants. Huguenots were French Protestants who held to the Reformed, or Calvinist, tradition of Protestantism. The term has its origin in early-16th-century France. It was frequently ...
, but now is claimed to be stable in number or even growing slightly. According to some, Russia is another country to see a Protestant revival. In 2010, the largest Protestant denominational families were historically Pentecostal denominations (11%), Anglican (11%), Lutheran (10%), Baptist (9%), United and uniting churches (unions of different denominations) (7%), Presbyterian or Reformed (7%), Methodist (3%), Adventist (3%), Congregationalist (1%), Plymouth Brethren, Brethren (1%), The Salvation Army (<1%) and Moravian Church, Moravian (<1%). Other denominations accounted for 38% of Protestants. United States is home to approximately 20% of Protestants. According to a 2012 study, Protestant share of U.S. population dropped to 48%, thus ending its status as religion of the majority for the first time."Nones" on the Rise: One-in-Five Adults Have No Religious Affiliation
, Pew Research Center (The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life), 9 October 2012
The decline is attributed mainly to the dropping membership of the Mainline Protestant churches, while Evangelical Protestant and Black churches are stable or continue to grow. By 2050, Protestantism is projected to rise to slightly more than half of the world's total Christian population. According to other experts such as Hans J. Hillerbrand, Protestants will be as numerous as Catholics.Hillerbrand, Hans J.
"Encyclopedia of Protestantism: 4-volume Set"
p. 1815, "Observers carefully comparing all these figures in the total context will have observed the even more startling finding that for the first time ever in the history of Protestantism, ''Wider Protestants'' will by 2050 have become almost exactly as numerous as Catholics—each with just over 1.5 billion followers, or 17 percent of the world, with Protestants growing considerably faster than Catholics each year."
According to Mark Juergensmeyer, Mark Jürgensmeyer of the University of California, Santa Barbara, University of California, popular Protestantism is the most dynamic religious movement in the contemporary world, alongside the resurgent Islam.


See also

* Anti-Catholicism * Church architecture#The Reformation and its influence on church architecture, The Reformation and its influence on church architecture * Criticism of Protestantism * European wars of religion * Protestantism and Islam * Protestantism in Germany


Tied movements

* Christadelphians * Jehovah's Witnesses * Latter Day Saint movement * Liberalism and progressivism within Islam, Islamic Protestantism * Messianic Judaism * Protestant Eastern Christianity * Restorationism * Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement * The New Church (Swedenborgianism) * Universalism


Notes


References


Further reading

* Bruce, Steve. ''A house divided: Protestantism, Schism and secularization'' (Routledge, 2019). * Cook, Martin L. (1991). ''The Open Circle: Confessional Method in Theology''. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press. xiv, 130 p. N.B.: Discusses the place of Confessions of Faith in Protestant theology, especially in Lutheranism. * John Dillenberger, Dillenberger, John, and Claude Welch (1988). ''Protestant Christianity, Interpreted through Its Development''. Second ed. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co. * Giussani, Luigi (1969), trans. Damian Bacich (2013)
American Protestant Theology: A Historical Sketch
Montreal: McGill-Queens UP. * Grytten, Ola Honningdal. "Weber revisited: A literature review on the possible Link between Protestantism, Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth." (NHH Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper 08, 2020)
online
* Howard, Thomas A. ''Remembering the Reformation: an inquiry into the meanings of Protestantism'' (Oxford UP, 2016). * Howard, Thomas A. and Mark A. Noll, eds. ''Protestantism after 500 years'' (Oxford UP, 2016). * Leithart, Peter J. ''The end of Protestantism: pursuing unity in a fragmented church'' (Brazos Press, 2016). * * Nash, Arnold S., ed. (1951). ''Protestant Thought in the Twentieth Century: Whence & Whither''? New York: Macmillan Co. * * – comprehensive scholarly coverage on Protestantism worldwide, current and historical; 2195pp
index in vol 4 is online
* Melton, J, Gordon. ''Encyclopedia of Protestantism'' (Facts on File, 2005), 800 articles in 628 pp * Ryrie, Alec ''Protestants: The Radicals Who Made the Modern World'' (Harper Collins, 2017). * Ryrie, Alec "The World's Local Religion
''History Today'' (Sept 20, 2017) online


External links

*
Protestantism
(Encyclopedia.com)
"Protestantism"
from the 1917 ''Catholic Encyclopedia''
The Historyscoper

World Council of Churches
World body for mainline Protestant churches {{Authority control Protestantism, Christian terminology 16th-century introductions