AT THE CENTER
RELATED RESOURCES ON PROTESTANT
Protestantism represents the second largest strand of Christianity when taken as a whole, counting 593 million Protestants across the world. However, Protestantism is not a single church or communion but a diverse spectrum of independent communions and theologies, including Lutheranism, Methodism, Presbyterianism, and Anglicanism. Protestantism was born out of the Protestant Reformation (1517-1648), a reaction against perceived misdeeds in the Catholic Church led most notably by Martin Luther (1483-1546) and John Calvin (1509-1564). Three fundamental principles unify all strands of Protestantism: the doctrine of sola scriptura (“by scripture alone”) holds that the Bible alone is infallible; sola fide (“by faith alone”) teaches that the believer is justified only by his or her faith in Jesus Christ, not earned by good works, which are considered evidence of faith; and the doctrine of the universal priesthood of believers teaches that all Christians, not just ordained clergy, have the right and the duty to understand and interpret scripture.