During the Renaissance Europeans started doing something they have never done before! They started to question the Catholic Church! The Catholic Church controlled Europe! They were not only the faith, but the government! They told you how to believe, and made you tithe! It was a tax expected from everybody! During this time if you lived in Europe you HAD to be a Christian! If you weren't the Church KILLED you! That always boggles my mind!
All of sudden people got the strength to question the church! This had never happened before up to this point. The Church had so much power and might no one was brave enough to question them! Then in 1517 Martin Luther did a huge thing that will affect the world!
He had big problems with the Catholic Church! Now he did not want to create new sects of the Christian faith. Martin Luther wanted to reform the Church. His biggest problem was Indulgencies! They were a piece of paper that you could buy that would guarantee you a place in heaven.
Martin Luther believed this was a scam! The Church would come into a town square, and put on a show. They would try to put fear into people, and scare them into buying an Indulgence. They would sell them for pennies because they wanted the peasants of Europe to buy them, and they did! With the money the Church would build the great Cathedrals of Europe! Below is a great scene from a movie about Martin Luther and Indulgencies. It is called Luther.
So Martin Luther did something about his feelings towards Indulgencies. We all are upset about stuff, and complain about it. But do we do anything about it? Most of the time no! Martin Luther did something about his feelings. He wrote out his 95 problems with the Catholic Church, and posted them on the Wittenberg Church door. He chose the Church door because it would have been the center of town, and everyone would have seen them. Now historians call his 95 problems - the 95 Theses. This one action caused a wave of reaction.
The Church freaked out! Because Luther questioned the Church. Luther was arrested, and was tried as a heretic! He was found guilty, but not killed. He was exiled because he would not recant. After he was exiled - he was done with the movement. But others wanted to keep going. Many believed Luther did not go far enough.
Ultimately a break is going to happen. People will begin Protestant churches. Before this moment the only option was the Catholic Church. Now there is options, and I always think Americans should be so grateful for Martin Luther. We would not have all of our churches if it was not for Martin Luther and the action he took! This is a huge moment in World History!
There are Puritans because of the Protestant Reformation! They were in England, and formed because of the Protestant Reformation.