The Protestant Reformation

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The Protestant Reformation The Protestant Reformation: What it was, why it happened and why it was necessary. The Protestant Reformation has been called "the most momentous upheaval in the history of Christianity." It was a parting of the ways for two large groups of Christians who differed in their approach to the worship of Christ. At the time, the Protestant reformers saw the church- the Catholic church, or the "universal church- " as lacking in its ways. The church was corrupt then, all the way up to the pope, and had lost touch with the people of Europe. The leaders of the Reformation sought to reform the church and its teachings according to the Scriptures and the writings of the Apostles. They sought to simplify the church by returning to its roots, roots long lost by the Catholic church at the time, or so the reformers believed. After the fall of the Roman Empire, life in Europe declined rapidly into the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages were a time of misery and darkness. There were only two socioeconomic classes: the very rich nobility or the very poor peasants. Small kingdoms popped up everywhere, and were constantly at war with one another. Whole libraries were destroyed, and the only people who remained literate were the clergy of the Christian church. Life became such a struggle to survive that, for a period of five hundred years, very little artwork or literature was produced by the whole of Europe. Eventually, around the year 1000, the conditions in Europe began to get better. This marked the beginning of the Middle Ages. The Crusades began as an effort to revitalize the spirits of the people. However, things still weren't very good. Plagues ravaged the land, carried by rodents and destroying whole villages. With th... ... middle of paper ... than Germany and its neighbors. The people of the south were also of a different heritage. The Catholic church centered itself around the ruins of the Roman Empire and was made up of the descends of the Romans and Jews. The people of the north came from the Germanic tribes like the Goths, tribes which had been instrumental in the fall of the Empire. The south was decadent, the north rural. It is hardly surprising that these two regions would eventually develop their own form of religious expression. Thus, Protestantism and its offshoots- Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist and such- are still popular in the world today, very often with people who have roots where the faiths originated. Roman Catholicism still thrives as well, but in a less corrupt state than during the Reformation. It now dominates much of Europe, while the Protestant religions have taken over America.

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