Protestantism. A major branch of Christianity established in the 16th century as a result of the Reformation. Protestantism emerged in the 16th century in opposition to the dogma and institutional practices of the Catholic church and quickly spread throughout the western, northern, and central reaches of Europe as well as into Eastern Europe. Incorporating the teachings of theologians such as Martin Luther, Jean Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, and Thomas Müntzer, Protestantism rejected the ritualism, entrenched dogmatism, and authoritarianism of the Catholic church in favor of the concept of grace through faith, the involvement of the laity in church affairs, and a personal understanding of the Bible. The movement quickly spawned a number of new churches, among them the Anglican, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Methodist. For the history of Protestantism in Ukraine see Evangelical Christians, Socinians, Baptists, Adventists, Lutherans, Mennonites, and Stundists. Some Ukrainians in Canada and the United States of America also joined Protestant or Protestant-inspired churches, such as the Independent Greek Church.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]