Martin Luther was a German monk. In 1517 he created the Ninety-Five Thesis. This told of everything Luther had a problem with concerning the church. He wrote about how wrong it is to sell indulgence, the practice of nepotism, and how there should only be two sacraments. Indulgence is the amount of time you spend in purgatory before you enter heaven. Nepotism is when you only give family members jobs to the church. He also believed that there should be two sacraments, Baptism and Holy Communion. He also had two other ideas that he believed in. One of them is that a person can only be saved through “faith alone.” Another thing he believed was that the bible was the only guide to salvation. The people who believed in these same things were known as Lutherans. The people who protested against the church in general were called the Protestants.
Henry VIII was an English King who was extremely devoted to his religion. He was married to Catherine for eighteen years but she was unable to give him a son, only one daughter. He really wanted a son so he could become the next king. Because they didn’t have a son he wanted to have his marriage annulled. An annulment is when the church says that a marriage never existed. When Henry VIII asked for an annulment, the pope declined his request. The pope declined his request for many reasons. One reason is because they were married for eighteen years and have one child, that is something you can’t act like never happened. Another reason is because Catherine was originally married to Henry’s brother. Even though his brother passed away, the church doesn’t allow a woman to marry a man who is the brother of their spouse. Henry VIII had to get special permission to marry Catherine, so the pope was not going to give Henry special permission any more. Because of this, Henry had Parliament issue the Act or Supremacy which made Henry VIII the head of the country and the church of England. Now he can solve his marriage on his own, without any ones permission.
John Calvin was a French lawyer. He shared the same belief as Martin Luther. He created many Protestant churches throughout Switzerland. He believed that people should work hard and pray throughout their life. His thoughts spread to Holland and Dutch. His followers were known as the Puritans.
John Knox was a Scotland reformer. He created the Presbyterian church in 1560. His teachings were based on Calvin’s beliefs.