Activity time: 3 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Religions Time Line
  • Sticky notes and fine point markers
  • World map or globe

Preparation for Activity

  • Hang Religions Timeline visibly in the space.
  • Have map or globe handy.
  • Create sticky note saying, "Protestantism, 1517." Keep it out of sight.

Description of Activity

The time line is updated to add Protestantism.

Ask participants if they remember the year Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences to the Wittenberg Church door. It was 1517. Ask participants to notice the significant length of time Christianity existed before this major branching took place. Note also how young Protestantism is compared with Catholicism-only about a quarter the age. However, Protestants, and Unitarian Universalists (the first Unitarian Churches being founded after King John Sigismund of Transylvania legalized religious freedom in 1568, influenced by the Protestant Reformation) still benefit from the wealth of history, writings, and theological development of the millennium and a half of Christian development before the Protestant Reformation. (Place marker on time line.) Ask who remembers where the Protestant Reformation began. Have a volunteer locate Germany on the map. Share that there are 970 million Protestants and 1.13 billion Catholics worldwide. Together these numbers make Christianity the largest religion in the world.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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