Protestantism

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Protestantism is one of the three branches of the Christian faith. The other two Christian traditions are Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Protestantism originated during the early 1500s. During this period, the Protestant Reformation occurred. Many people began to protest various Catholic Church practices. These people became known as Protestants because of their protests. Numerous Catholic Church policies alienated these people. Among some of the Protestants' largest complaints were the lack of power of ordinary Catholics to establish Church policy, the sale of indulgences to escape purgatory, and the failure of the Catholic Church to conduct services or print religious texts in any language other than Latin.

Eventually, a new branch of Christianity "the Protestant tradition" formed. Most Protestants originally wanted to reform the Catholic Church, but the Catholic Church's refusal to listen to and to incorporate Protestant demands caused the creation of the Protestant branch of Christianity. Generally, Protestant churches allowed the congregation much more freedom in determining church policy and rejected such Catholic beliefs as purgatory, among other things.

Under Protestantism, numerous new denominations arose. As a general rule, to qualify as a Protestant faith, the faith does not recognize the Catholic Pope as the head of its particular church. An exception to this is the Eastern Orthodox tradition, which does not recognize the Pope as the head of its faith but also does not fall under Protestantism. Among the more prominent Protestant denominations to arise were the Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians, Mennonites, Amish, Quakers (Society of Friends), and Congregationalists, among many others. All of these faiths either exist or existed at some point in Ohio. For more information on these denominations and their role in Ohio's development, please consult their respective entries on Ohio History Central.

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