Brief history of Protestantism

Brief history of Protestantism

Protestantism is a term that comes from the protest of the Lutheran states of the Holy Empire, in the Diet of the Spira of 1529, against the Charles V's decision to restrict religious freedom.

Today, about 700 million people declare themselves Protestants. It encompasses the different groups that separated from the Catholic Church through the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century and it presents itself as a Church of multiple aspects, whose unity is based on three fundamental affirmations.

Religious Precepts of Protestantism

On the one hand, proclaims the sovereign authority of the Bible in matters of faith and rejects everything that belongs to human tradition.

With this the Protestants wanted to put end the papal bulls and to the mandates from Rome, while they wanted to empower and give more power to the sacred texts.

In this regard, we must also highlight the importance of the translation of the Bible, which made possible the creation and practice of faith completely outside the Church.

On the other hand, the second statement speaks of the salvation of the human being through faith. For the Protestants, good works are not the cause of salvation, but its consequence. Unlike Catholics, Protestants think that to reach heaven, they must earn it on earth.

It is one of the main ideas that, throughout history, have been the cause of the peoples who adopted this mentality, increasing their productivity and work efficiency.

And third base would be that the strength of the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, by which the believer understands the spirit of the word of God, which It is expressed in the sacred books and not in the mandates of the Church.

It was one of the ways they devised to to separate completely from the yoke to which they were subjected from the Italian capital.

The movements and congregations of Protestantism

Protestantism can normally be expressed in different types of movements or congregations. There are national historical churches such as Anglicanism, Lutheranism, and Calvinism that proliferated in the north and in the center of Europe.

There's also congregations such as evangelical churches and certain marginal movements that have not had much significance to this day.

All have extensive doctrines, among which stand out “only five”.

Main branches of Protestantism

  • Lutherans: Germany and Scandinavia
  • Anglicans: United Kingdom
  • Calvinists: United Kingdom, Netherlands, United States, South Korea, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Methodists: United Kingdom, United States and Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Baptists: mainly in the United States and Latin America
  • Pentecostals: United States, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Korea

The 95 Theses of Luther

The basis on which the division of the different churches took place were the 95 Martin Luther's thesis. In them, the greed and paganism in the Catholic Church and proposed a theological debate on them. Luther He criticized Pope Leo X for selling indulgences in order to carry out the construction of St. Peter's Basilica. These ideas and approaches caused the monk to be excommunicated on January 3, 1521.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.

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