For a long time the Catholic church was the only denomination available; life was centred there, and all were taught the same message, in the same environment, whether they liked it or not, as the punishment was hell: and the doom paintings reinforced the belief that hell was a horrible place that you’d spend eternity in. But in 1517 everything changed. Martin Luther was the first person to question the Catholic Church, with his book The Ninety-Five Theses. This challenged many practices, especially indulgences, querying the fact that penance took the form of a payment, rather than genuine contrition. While the Protestant Church was still a denomination of Christianity, there were a number of differences between a Protestant Church, and a Catholic Church. The first difference was the head of the church. In Catholic Churches, the pope is the head of the church, and it is claimed that he is a ‘mediator between God and mankind,’ whereas Protestants believe that Jesus is the only man that can take that role, and therefore, have no Pope. The head of a Protestant church is the King.
A Protestant church is also a lot less grand. While Catholic Churches have elaborate decorations, statues and stained glass windows, Protestant Churches have none of those features, so that church-goers could focus on the word of the minister. Catholics believe Churches should be elaborately decorated to ‘show God’s glory’. Decorations might include paintings and statues of Jesus and the saints, candles, gold and jewels.
The final difference is the language that the bible was written in. In Catholic churches, the bible was written in Latin, and as a result of that uneducated people, who tended to be poorer, couldn’t read it as they couldn’t speak Latin. However, in Protestant churches, the bible was translated into vernacular so that anyone could read it.