Martin Luther was a monk who lived in Germany, during the renaissance, or rebirth of Europe. The Renaissance was the time when humanism was born, the idea that the individual can impact society, which was just what Martin Luther did. Martin Luther didn't always plan to become a monk, but after he survived a huge storm he promised that he would dedicate his life to the christian religion, even if it went against his father's wishes. During the time period in which Martin lived there were a lot of things the Catholic Church believed in. For example Purgatory. Purgatory was the state of afterlife in which you were neither in heaven or hell, but rather hovering in between. Here people would wait and pay off their sins through time, until they finally were let into heaven. This whole process could take hundreds of years, so this is why the Church started the sale of indulgences. Indulgences are like get out of jail free cards. They are little slips are paper that anyone is allowed to buy, that will get loved ones or themselves a direct passage to heaven, without having to wait in Purgatory. So when Martin Luther went to Rome that was exactly what he was doing, getting an indulgence for his grandmother. Once Martin was in Rome, he started to see things happening in the church that deeply upset him. For example, prostitution involved in the church, the wealthiness of the pope, people buying their way out of purgatory with indulgences, and the overuse of power and money. Later when Martin went back home, a man named Tetzel came into town selling indulgences. Martin Luther was so outraged by this he created what was called the 95 thesis and posted it so Tetzel could see it. The 95 theses is a document that basically state everything that Martin Luther  believes the Church is doing wrong.  Martin Luther's followers took the 95 theses and made many copies of it with the printing press, so now people all over europe know who Martin Luther is. Martin Luther had started a Reformation, which is an attempt to change the church.  As the renaissance was happening so was the Inquisition. The Inquisition was a trial led by members of the church to declare people that question the church heretics. Therefore a heretic is someone who questions the Church's power or how they run things. If someone is declared a heretic they could either face death or excommunication, which means they aren't allowed back into the Church.  As people started to hear about Martin Luther, they started to agree with him, and more and more people started listening to what he had to say. The Pope then made the Papal Bulls, which is a series of decrees that were directly against Martin Luther's beliefs. When Martin Luther still ignored these he was taken to the DIet of Worms, accused of being a heretic. The Diet of Worms was part of the Inquisition led by the Church. Here Martin was asked to recant, or take back what he said and he refused.  Martin then ran away, only to be kidnapped by Fredrick the Wise who took Martin away to his castle to keep him safe.  While Martin was hidden safely up in Fredrick's castle he translated the bible into Local Languages so that normal people could understand it. This allowed people to have faith alone, which means that they didn't need to be apart of the church to have faith in god, they could have faith alone. Thus, Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation, which means that normal people also have power, and will not spend all their time thinking about the church.


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