The teachings of Martin Luther and his fellow preachers created great religious fervor, and thereby Protestantism rapidly gained impetus. For about 1,000 years prior to the Reformation, portions of the Bible were neither heard nor known by many of the people; and the discovery of those truths which concerned eternal life was far more thrilling to them than had been the announcement of the discovery of “a new world” across the waters.
Students of philosophy in Germany began to accept the Bible as their true source of knowledge. Other countries welcomed the introduction of the Protestant religion which gained footholds in Switzerland, France, Great Britain, Scandinavian countries and elsewhere. Hundreds of Protestant churches were established, having their own particular church father or leader.
The breach between these churches and the existing church widened; and it brought about such great concern that ruling emperors took drastic steps to try to crush the movement and to regain lost possessions and territory. Persecutions, plots, executions, and religious wars persisted through the years that followed.