Humanism encouraged Europeans to question the role of the Roman Catholic church during the Renaissance.
As more people learned how to read, write and interpret ideas, they began to closely examine and critique religion as they knew it. Also, the printing press allowed for texts, including the Bible, to be easily reproduced and widely read by the people, themselves, for the first time.
In the 16th century, Martin Luther, a German monk, led the Protestant Reformation – a revolutionary movement that caused a split in the Catholic church. Luther questioned many of the practices of the church and whether they aligned with the teachings of the Bible.
As a result, a new form of Christianity, known as Protestantism, was created.