On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther attached his famous 95 theses on the Wittenberg town church door. The Protestant Reformation started, the main motto of which was “Return to the roots, to the pure doctrine of Christ and the apostles.”
The main principles of the Reformation were:
- By Scripture alone (sola scriptura)
- By faith alone (sola fide)
- By grace alone (sola gratia)
- Through Christ alone (solus Christus)
- Glory to God alone (soli Deo gloria)
Later, the 31st of October was recognized as the International Reformation Day.
This influential Christian confession – Protestantism – resulted in global consequences. Here are a few fundamental ones:
• Getting rid of perverse practices common in medieval church
• Simplification of worship; restoration of evangelical roots; refreshing of believers’ spiritual life
• Translation into native languages and massive spreading of the Holy Bible
• Unprecedented missionary activities
• Creation of educational centers and increase of education level
• Growth of peoples’ national self-consciousness
• Cultivation of new work ethics and formation of capitalistic economic order
• Promotion of freedom of conscience and religion.
Not having in mind the aim of idealizing the Protestant Reformation, we can, nonetheless, confidently state that it was a powerful renewing movement of the Christian church, the results of which not only gave Christianity a second breath, but greatly reformed Europe as well.
The fathers of the Reformation, such as Martin Luther, who came up against the vicious practices of the church, Jean Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli, who made a huge influence in the French-speaking Europe, were not flawless people, but servants entirely devoted to their cause and to God.
They were not frightened by persecution, not even by death, for the sake of the church to be reformed, for believers to have Christ in their hearts and worship God in spirit and in truth.
Today, with more than 800 million followers, Protesntant-Evangelical denominations are the second after Catholic Church. In Armenia the Protestant Christianity has several different denominations, the number of the followers of which, in different estimates, exceeds 100,000 people.