The Protestants are followers of Christianity, but they have separated from the original Roman Catholic Christianity. They are divided into numerous independent churches that are not subject to the Pope. With about 900 million Protestants, they form the second largest grouping within Christianity.

The Protestant churches and denominations are the main ones:

Protestants are not a single ecclesiastical denomination with common beliefs. Rather, Protestantism is a collective term for all Christian religions that split from the previously Roman Catholic Church in protest. The largest Protestant groups today are Lutherans, Reformed Christians, Anglicans and Baptists. Since the Reformation, however, countless other churches and communities have emerged, all of which belong to Christianity but are independent in their own right.

Distribution Protestants

Germany27.9 %23,212,000
Brazil10.7 %22,933,000
Sweden87.0 %9,062,000
South Africa13.5 %8,018,000
Mexico5.0 %6,335,000
Zimbabwe38.0 %6,078,000
Philippines5.1 %5,808,000
Denmark81.0 %4,744,000
Norway82.1 %4,440,000
Finland78.4 %4,344,000
Peru12.5 %4,214,000
Papua New Guinea37.2 %3,701,000
Armenia93.6 %2,612,000
Haiti19.9 %2,278,000
Netherlands12.0 %2,104,000
Ecuador10.4 %1,851,000
Canada4.8 %1,836,000
Rwanda12.2 %1,642,000
Myanmar3.0 %1,614,000
Nicaragua23.2 %1,589,000
Australia5.6 %1,439,000
Hungary13.8 %1,340,000
Republic of the Congo22.3 %1,301,000
Jamaica46.0 %1,301,000
Benin8.2 %1,066,000
Costa Rica13.7 %706,000
Uganda1.5 %688,000
New Zealand10.2 %523,000
Fiji44.2 %409,000
Latvia19.6 %369,000
Iceland79.7 %297,000
Burundi2.3 %289,000
Solomon Islands31.3 %222,000
Trinidad and Tobago13.5 %206,000
Bahamas46.4 %189,000
Vanuatu54.9 %175,000
Georgia3.9 %145,000
Estonia9.9 %132,000
Samoa57.4 %126,000
Bulgaria1.1 %76,000
Belize18.4 %74,000
Tonga64.1 %68,000
Barbados22.1 %62,000
Greenland96.0 %54,000
Guyana6.7 %54,000
Federated States of Micronesia41.1 %46,000
Kiribati35.5 %46,000
Virgin Islands42.0 %44,000
Faroe Islands83.8 %44,000
Antigua and Barbuda38.5 %36,000
Cayman Islands51.3 %35,000
Cape Verde5.1 %30,000
Saint Lucia16.4 %29,000
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines28.0 %29,000
Turks and Caicos Islands62.8 %28,000
Sao Tome and Principe12.4 %28,000
Moldova1.0 %26,000
Grenada19.4 %24,000
Åland Islands78.3 %23,000
American Samoa50.0 %23,000
Lithuania0.8 %22,000
Dominica21.8 %16,000
British Virgin Islands50.7 %16,000
Bermuda23.8 %15,000
Marshall Islands28.6 %12,000
Tuvalu98.4 %11,000
Anguilla46.6 %9,000
Nauru60.4 %8,000
Curacao4.9 %7,000
Cook Islands62.8 %5,000
Caribbean Netherlands16.0 %4,000
Sint Maarten6.2 %3,000
Aruba1.8 %2,000
Montserrat31.2 %2,000
Niue70.0 %1,000
Seychelles1.2 %1,000
Tokelau60.0 %1,000
Palau5.3 %1,000
Liechtenstein1.3 %500
Norfolk Island3.2 %100
Pitcairn Islands100.0 %100

History of origins

Protestantism has its origins in 16th century Europe. The Reformation period began in 1517 with Martin Luther, who published his 95 Theses in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther was thus the first to publicly criticize the Catholic Church, speaking out against indulgences, celibacy and the Papal States in particular. In addition, he later demanded in 3 extensive writings that the state take on further tasks in the social and educational sectors because the Roman Church of the time was incapable of reform.

During the 16th century, several clergymen throughout Europe took up Luther's concerns. A second Reformation came from John Calvin in Basel and Geneva. A Protestant movement was also formed in Scotland, starting with John Knox. In the Netherlands, it was started by Jacob Praepositus in Antwerp.

Protestantism did not mean turning away from the basic tenets of Christian doctrine. Rather, the initial aim was to separate church and state and to prohibit practices that were generally criticized, such as indulgences used to finance the church. After a difficult phase, which even led to religious wars, the new faiths finally established themselves parallel to the Roman Church. Finally, in order not to lose too many followers, the Roman Catholic Church itself had to carry out extensive reforms.