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Quick Facts About Protestantism on its 500th Anniversary

Facts about Protestants
By I, PetrusSilesius, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons
Tuesday marks Martin Luther’s rebellion agains the Roman Catholic Church, 500 years ago.

Protestants will commemorate their 500th anniversary on October 31, 2017. [/tweetit] This date is thought to be the day when Martin Luther publicly posted criticisms concerning Roman Catholic Church in the German town of Wittenberg. This action began the cascading effect of events which eventually resulted in a schism with Rome. Much of Europe has been divided from that time in terms of theology.

Quick Facts About Protestantism on its 500th Anniversary[/tweetthis]

In 2017, the Protestant religion has come a long way from its early beginnings. The Pew Research Center has collected a few important facts about this religious evolution.

Pew Research Center
Protestants constituted 37 percent of Christians worldwide in 2010. It comes second to Catholics, which make up 50 percent of Christians all over the globe. Both are significantly bigger than the third-ranked Orthodox Christians clocking in at 12 percent. Interestingly, although Europe started Protestantism, about 87 percent of Protestants live outside the continent. A majority of Protestants reside in the Southern Hemisphere.

In the meantime, Protestant numbers in the United States are going south. At one time, the United States gave residence to 20 percent of the world's Protestants. This has decreased from the time of colonialism. In 2007, the percent of American adults who are Protestant was 51 percent. In 2014, the decline came to 47 percent of the population. In comparison, the decline in evangelical Protestant numbers has been considerably less, from 26 percent in 2007 to 25 percent in 2014. This decline in numbers corroborates to the decline of Christians in the United States from 78 percent in 2007 to 71 percent in 2014.

In contrast, Protestant populations have spurted in Latin America, a predominantly Catholic continent. Among the total number of Protestants, about nine percent were born into it, and 19 percent responded to the survey saying that it is their present religion. The increase in Protestant numbers has been at the cost of Catholics. Latin American Protestants are found to be religiously conservative.

Pew Research Center
The Pentecostal movement has gained ground within Protestantism. The Pentecostal churches frequently highlight divine healing, receiving God's direct revelations, and speaking in tongues. Such practices are common among the Protestants in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.

When it comes to Western Europe, the birthplace of the Reformation, Protestants, and Catholics share a more common religious theology than what was before. Controversies relating to theology among Catholics and Protestants are now a thing of the past. Both of them now believe, for example, entry into heaven can be possible by a combo of good works and faith.


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