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With more than million followers, Protestantism is the second largest branch of Christianity. Protestantism is divided into many different churches. The first Protestant churches broke away from Roman Catholicism , the largest branch of Christianity.
Although many Protestant churches have different beliefs, all Protestants reject Roman Catholicism and the power of its leader, the pope. They base their beliefs on the Christian Bible. Most believe that getting to heaven requires only faith in God, not any specific actions.
Most Protestant churches hold worship services on Sundays. Protestants perform only two of the sacraments, or rituals, practiced by Roman Catholics: baptism and Communion. In the s some Roman Catholics began to disagree with their church. At first they wanted only to change, or reform, parts of the church.
Their movement became known as the Reformation. But the leaders of Roman Catholicism strongly opposed such changes. Soon some people broke away to form new churches. Members of the new churches became known as Protestants. The first Protestant churches to form were the Lutheran church , the Church of England , and the Reformed, or Presbyterian, churches. Catholics and Protestants fought wars over religion in the s and s.
Protestantism remained strong, however, and spread throughout Europe and its colonies. In the s and s some Protestants thought that Protestantism was still too close to Roman Catholicism. Some of them formed new Protestant groups, such as Congregationalists, Baptists , Quakers , and Methodists. New Protestant churches continued to form in the s and s. Meanwhile, beginning in the s, some Protestants worked to build unity with all Christians. Take a minute to check out all the enhancements!
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Protestantism facts for kids