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Protestantism is one of the three major branches of the religion of Christianity. The other two are Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity.

Protestantism looks to the Bible as its primary source of authority rather than established ecclesiastial tradition or the apostolic succession of its clergy. It argues that the Bible has authority over the church, rather than the Church having authority over the Bible.

Many abuses within the Roman Catholic Church during the late medieval period and early Renaissance led to attempts to reform the church in Western Europe. While the original Protestants of the early 1500's attempted to reform the church from within, the stern and sometimes violent opposition from the Popes forced them to leave and form their own churches.

There are many schools of thought within Protestantism, including Lutheranism, the Reformed Church, the Anglican Communion, Methodism, and Baptists. A common theme among Protestants has been salvation by faith in the person of Jesus Christ and his works on their behalf, rather than by their own works. The New Testament writings of St. Paul, especially the Book of Romans, are major sources of Protestant thought, with the emphasis on teaching that "the just shall live by faith." (Romans 1:17b)

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