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As the name denotes Protestants are actually Christians who originally chose to protest against the Roman Catholic Church.
The original Protestants were actually western European Roman Catholics who sought to reform the Roman Catholic Church in the sixteenth century. These people were actually excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church so they began to form their own churches. All of the Christian groups formed after this excommunication eventually became known as Protestant groups.
Some of the first Protestant groups followed the teachings of Luther (Lutherans) and Calvin (Calvinists). The Anglicans were also one of the first Protestant groups.
Over the years many other Protestant groups developed including the Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodists and Unitarians.
Many of the original Protestant movements attracted intellectuals and the majority of these movements took issue with the Roman Catholic religious hierarchy of the priesthood. They saw corruption in monastic system and sought to bring about a change.
Many Protestant groups firmly believe that the individual conscience is the valid interpreter of Scripture. They also believe that the Bible is the only source of irrefutable truth.
Currently thousands of Protestant denominations exist, but almost all of these denominations can be categorized into one of the general Protestant families.
Families of Protestant Denominations:
- Calvins/ Presbyterians