What are some important facts about the Protestant Reformation?

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The essential things to know about the Protestant Reformation would include the following:

  • It began in Germany in the early sixteenth century with a public critique of the Catholic Church by Martin Luther.
  • Luther's movement spread largely with the assistance and support of powerful German princes.
  • The Reformation essentially involved an emphasis on receiving grace by faith alone, rather than through the sacraments and other Church rituals.
  • Other major movements occurred in Zurich (Huldrych Zwingli) and, more importantly, in Geneva (John Calvin.) Calvinism would be very influential in Britain, Holland, France (for a short time) and eventually New England.
  • The Reformation led to religious and political conflict that included civil war in France, separation of the Church of England from Rome, and the Thirty Years' War.

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