The Akan are a meta-ethnicity predominantly speaking Central Tano languages and residing in the southern regions of the former Gold Coast region in what is today the nation of Ghana. Akans who migrated from Ghana make up a plurality of the populace in the Ivory Coast; the Akan language is a group of dialects within the Central Tano branch of the Potou–Tano subfamily of the Niger–Congo family. Subgroups of the Akan proper include: Asante, Akuapem and Akyem, Kwahu, Wassa and Bono. Subgroups of the Bia-speaking groups include: the Anyin, Baoulé, Sefwi, Nzema and Jwira-Pepesa; the Akan subgroups have cultural attributes in common, notably the tracing of matrilineal descent, inheritance of property, succession to high political office. Akan culture can be found in the New World. A number of Akans were taken as captives to the Americas. Ten-percent of all slave ships embarked from the Gold Coast; the primary source of wealth within Akan economy was gold. However as wars culminated in the region the capture and sale of Akan people peaked during the Fante and Ashanti conflicts as prisoners of war.
Akan conflicts led to a high number of military captives being sold into slavery known as "Coromantee". These Coromantee soldiers and other Akan captives were notorious for a large number of slave revolts and plantation resistance tactics; these captives were feared throughout the Americas so much so that we can see their legacy within groups such as the Maroons of the Caribbean and South America. Akan people are believed to have migrated to their current location from the Sahara desert and Sahel regions of Africa into the forest region around the 11th century, many Akans tell their history as it started in the eastern region of Africa as this is where the ethnogenesis of the Akan as we know them today happened. Oral traditions of the ruling Abrade Clan relate, they migrated from the north, they settled in Nubia. Around 500 AD, due to the pressure exerted on Nubia by the Axumite kingdom of Ethiopia, Nubia was shattered, the Akan people moved west and established small trading kingdoms; these kingdoms grew, around 750 AD the Ghana Empire was formed.
The Empire lasted from 750 AD to 1200 AD and collapsed as a result of the introduction of Islam in the Western Sudan, the zeal of the Muslims to impose their religion, their ancestors left for Kong. From Kong they moved to Wam and to Dormaa; the movement from Kong was necessitated by the desire of the people to find suitable savannah conditions since they were not used to forest life. Around the 14th century, they moved from Dormaa South Eastwards to Twifo-Hemang, North West Cape Coast; this move was commercially motivated. The kingdom of Bonoman was established as early as the 12th century. Between the 12th and 13th centuries a gold boom in the area brought wealth to numerous Akans. During different phases of the Kingdom of Bonoman, groups of Akans migrated out of the area to create numerous states based predominantly on gold mining and trading of cash crops; this brought wealth to numerous Akan states like Akwamu Empire, led to the rise of the most well known Akan empire, the Empire of Ashanti, the most dominant of the Akan states.
From the 15th century to the 19th century the Akan people dominated gold mining and trading in the region. The Akan goldfields, according to Peter Bakewell, were the "highly auriferous area in the forest country between the Komoe and Volta rivers; the Akan goldfield was one of three principal goldfields in the region, along with the Bambuk goldfield, the Bure goldfield. This wealth in gold attracted European traders; the Europeans were Portuguese, soon joined by the Dutch and the British in their quest for Akan gold. Akan states waged wars on neighboring states in their geographic area to capture people and sell them as slaves to Europeans who subsequently sold the enslaved people along with guns to Akan states in exchange for Akan gold. Akan gold was used to purchase slaves from further up north via the Trans-Saharan route; the Akan purchased slaves. About a third of the population of many Akan states were indentured servants; the Akans went from buyers of slaves to selling slaves as the dynamics in the Gold Coast and the New World changed.
Thus, the Akan people played a role in supplying Europeans with indentured servants, who were enslaved for the trans-Atlantic slave trade. In 2006 Ghana apologized to the descendants of slaves for the role some of its people may have played in the slave trade. Akan people the Ashanti people, fought against European colonists and defeated them on several occasions to maintain autonomy; this occurred during the Anglo-Ashanti wars: the war of the Golden Stool, other similar battles. By the early 1900s all of Ghana was a colony or protectorate of the British while the lands in the Ivory Coast were under the French. On 6 March 1957, following the decolonization from the British under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah, the Gold Coast was joined to British Togoland, the Northern region, Upper East region and Upper West region of the Gold Coast to form Ghana. Ivory Coast gained independence on 7 August 1960; the Akans consider themselves one nation. Akan means first, foremo
Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a renewal movement within Protestant Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through baptism with the Holy Spirit. The term Pentecostal is derived from the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks. For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. Like other forms of evangelical Protestantism, Pentecostalism adheres to the inerrancy of the Bible and the necessity of accepting Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, it is distinguished by belief in the baptism in the Holy Spirit that enables a Christian to live a Spirit-filled and empowered life. This empowerment includes the use of spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues and divine healing—two other defining characteristics of Pentecostalism; because of their commitment to biblical authority, spiritual gifts, the miraculous, Pentecostals tend to see their movement as reflecting the same kind of spiritual power and teachings that were found in the Apostolic Age of the early church.
For this reason, some Pentecostals use the term Apostolic or Full Gospel to describe their movement. Pentecostalism emerged in the early 20th century among radical adherents of the Holiness movement who were energized by revivalism and expectation for the imminent Second Coming of Christ. Believing that they were living in the end times, they expected God to spiritually renew the Christian Church thereby bringing to pass the restoration of spiritual gifts and the evangelization of the world. In 1900, Charles Parham, an American evangelist and faith healer, began teaching that speaking in tongues was the Bible evidence of Spirit baptism and along with William J. Seymour, a Wesleyan-Holiness preacher, he taught that this was the third work of grace; the three-year-long Azusa Street Revival and led by Seymour in Los Angeles, resulted in the spread of Pentecostalism throughout the United States and the rest of the world as visitors carried the Pentecostal experience back to their home churches or felt called to the mission field.
While all Pentecostal denominations trace their origins to Azusa Street, the movement has experienced a variety of divisions and controversies. An early dispute centered on challenges to the doctrine of the Trinity; as a result, the Pentecostal movement is divided between trinitarian and non-trinitarian branches, resulting in the emergence of Oneness Pentecostals. Comprising over 700 denominations and a large number of independent churches, there is no central authority governing Pentecostalism. There are over 279 million Pentecostals worldwide, the movement is growing in many parts of the world the global South. Since the 1960s, Pentecostalism has gained acceptance from other Christian traditions, Pentecostal beliefs concerning Spirit baptism and spiritual gifts have been embraced by non-Pentecostal Christians in Protestant and Catholic churches through the Charismatic Movement. Together and Charismatic Christianity numbers over 500 million adherents. While the movement attracted lower classes in the global South, there is an increasing appeal to middle classes.
Middle class congregations tend to be more adapted to society and withdraw strong spiritual practices such as divine healing. Pentecostalism is an evangelical faith, emphasizing the reliability of the Bible and the need for the transformation of an individual's life through faith in Jesus. Like other evangelicals, Pentecostals adhere to the Bible's divine inspiration and inerrancy—the belief that the Bible, in the original manuscripts in which it was written, is without error. Pentecostals emphasize the teaching of the "full gospel" or "foursquare gospel"; the term foursquare refers to the four fundamental beliefs of Pentecostalism: Jesus saves according to John 3:16. The central belief of classical Pentecostalism is that through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, sins can be forgiven and humanity reconciled with God; this is the Gospel or "good news". The fundamental requirement of Pentecostalism is; the new birth is received by the grace of God through faith in Christ as Savior. In being born again, the believer is regenerated, adopted into the family of God, the Holy Spirit's work of sanctification is initiated.
Classical Pentecostal soteriology is Arminian rather than Calvinist. The security of the believer is a doctrine held within Pentecostalism. Pentecostals believe in both a literal heaven and hell, the former for those who have accepted God's gift of salvation and the latter for those who have rejected it. For most Pentecostals there is no other requirement to receive salvation. Baptism with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues are not required, though Pentecostal converts are encouraged to seek these experiences. A notable exception is Jesus' Name Pentecostalism, most adherents of which believe both water baptism and Spirit baptism are integral components of salvation. Pentecostals identify three distinct uses of the word "baptism" in the New Testament: Baptism into the body of Christ: This refers to salvation; every believer in Christ is made a part of the Church, through baptism. The Holy Spirit is the agent, the body of Christ is the medium. Water baptism: Symbolic of dying to the world and liv
The Ewe people are an African ethnic group. The largest population of Ewe people is in Ghana with people, the second largest population in Togo with people, they speak the Ewe language. They are related to other speakers of Gbe languages such as the Fon, Phla Phera, the Aja people of Togo and Benin. Ewe people are located in the coastal regions of West Africa, in the region south and east of the Volta River to around the Mono River at Togo and Benin border, they are found in Volta Region in southeastern Ghana, southern Togo, in southwestern parts of Benin. The Ewe region is sometimes referred to as the Ewe Eʋedukɔ́ region, they consist of four groups based on their dialect and geographic concentration: the Anlo Ewe, the Mina, Anechɔ, Ʋedome, Tongu or Tɔŋu. The literary language has been the Anlo sub-branch; the ancient history of the Ewe people is not recorded. But people believe that the Ewe migrated from a place called Kotu or Amedzowe, east of the Niger River, or that they are from the region, now the border between Benin and Nigeria and because of invasions and wars in the 17th century migrated into their current location.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the Ewe people had some presence in their current homelands at least earlier than the 13th century. This evidence dates their dynamism to a much earlier period than believed. However, other evidence suggests a period of turmoil when Yoruba warriors of Oyo Empire ruled the region, their own oral tradition describes the brutal king Agɔ Akɔli or of Notsie ruled from Kpalimé in 17th century. They share a history with people; these speakers occupied the area between Yorubaland. Some historians have tried to tie them to both Akan and Yoruba ethnic groups, but more recent studies suggest these are distinct ethnic groups that are neither Akan or Yoruba, although they appear to have both influenced and taken influence from the two ethnic groups; the Ewe people had cordial relations with colonial-era European traders. However, in 1784, they warred with Danish colonial interests as Denmark attempted to establish coastal forts in Ewe regions for its officials and merchants.
The Ewes were both victims of slave raiding and trade, as well slave sellers to European slave merchants and ships. Politically structured as chiefdoms, the Ewe people were at war with each other, raided other clans within the Ewe people as well as in Ashantiland, they sold the captives as slaves. After slavery was abolished and slave trade brought to a halt, the major economic activity of the Ewe people shifted to palm oil and copra exports, their region was divided between the colonial powers between the German and British colonies, after World War I their territories were divided between the British and a British-French joint protectorate. After World War I, the British Togoland and French Togoland were renamed Volta Region and Togo; the French Togoland was renamed Republic of Togo and gained independence from France on April 27, 1960. The sophisticated theology of the Ewe people is similar to those of nearby ethnic groups, such as the Fon religion; this traditional Ewe religion is called Voodoo.
The word is borrowed from the Fon language, means "spirit". The Ewe religion holds Mawu as the creator god, who created numerous lesser deities that serve as the spiritual vehicles and the powers that influence a person's destiny; this mirrors the Mawu and Lisa theology of the Fon religion, like them, these are remote from daily affairs of the Ewe people. The lesser deities are believed to have means to inflict harm; the Ewe have the concept of Si, which implies a "spiritual marriage" between the deity and the faithful. It is referred to as a suffix to a deity, thus a Fofie-si refers to a faithful who has pledged to deity Fofie, just like a spouse would during a marriage. Ancestral spirits are important part of the Ewe traditional religion, shared by a clan. Islam arrived in Ewe region in the 17th century, remained concentrated in its north among the wealthy nobles and trans-Saharan traders. Islam has remained a minority religion among the Ewe people, with continued strong presence in the north, some regions such as Lomé in south of a significant presence.
Christianity arrived among the Ewe people with the colonial missionaries. Major missions were established by European colonies. German Lutheran missionaries arrived in 1847, their ideas were accepted in the coastal areas, Germans named their region Togoland, or Togo meaning'beyond the sea' in Ewe language. Germans lost their influence in World War I, their Christian missions were forced to leave the Togoland, thereafter the French and British missionaries became more prominent among the Ewe people. About 50% of the Ewe population belonging to the coastal urban area, has converted to Christianity. However, they continue to practice the traditional rituals of their ancestral religion; the Ewe people are a patrilineal people. Each lineage is headed by the male elder; the male ancestors have Ewe are revered, traditionally, families can trace male ancestors. The land owned by an Ewe family is considered an ancestral gift, they do not sell this gift. Ewe people are notable for their fierce independence and have lacked group identity, they have never supported a concentrat
Ghana the Republic of Ghana, is a country located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2, Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana means "Warrior King" in the Soninke language; the first permanent state in the territory of present-day Ghana dates back to the 11th century. Numerous kingdoms and empires emerged over the centuries, of which the most powerful was the Kingdom of Ashanti. Beginning in the 15th century, numerous European powers contested the area for trading rights, with the British establishing control of the coast by the late 19th century. Following over a century of native resistance, Ghana's current borders were established by the 1900s as the British Gold Coast, it became independent of the United Kingdom on 6 March 1957. Ghana's population of 30 million spans a variety of ethnic and religious groups.
According to the 2010 census, 71.2% of the population was Christian, 17.6% was Muslim, 5.2% practised traditional faiths. Its diverse geography and ecology ranges from coastal savannahs to tropical rain forests. Ghana is a unitary constitutional democracy led by a president, both head of state and head of the government. Ghana's growing economic prosperity and democratic political system have made it a regional power in West Africa, it is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, Group of 24 and the Commonwealth of Nations. The etymology of the word Ghana means "warrior king" and was the title accorded to the kings of the medieval Ghana Empire in West Africa, but the empire was further north than the modern country of Ghana, in the region of Guinea. Ghana was recognized as one of the great kingdoms in Bilad el-Sudan by the ninth century. Ghana was inhabited in the Middle Ages and the Age of Discovery by a number of ancient predominantly Akan kingdoms in the Southern and Central territories.
This included the Ashanti Empire, the Akwamu, the Bonoman, the Denkyira, the Mankessim Kingdom. Although the area of present-day Ghana in West Africa has experienced many population movements, the Akans were settled by the 5th century BC. By the early 11th century, the Akans were established in the Akan state called Bonoman, for which the Brong-Ahafo Region is named. From the 13th century, Akans emerged from what is believed to have been the Bonoman area, to create several Akan states of Ghana based on gold trading; these states included Bonoman, Denkyira, Mankessim Kingdom, Akwamu Eastern region. By the 19th century, the territory of the southern part of Ghana was included in the Kingdom of Ashanti, one of the most influential states in sub-saharan Africa prior to the onset of colonialism; the Kingdom of Ashanti government operated first as a loose network, as a centralised kingdom with an advanced specialised bureaucracy centred in the capital city of Kumasi. Prior to Akan contact with Europeans, the Akan people created an advanced economy based on principally gold and gold bar commodities traded with the states of Africa.
The earliest known kingdoms to emerge in modern Ghana were the Mole-Dagbani states. The Mole-Dagomba came on horseback from present-day Burkina Faso under Naa Gbewaa. With their advanced weapons and based on a central authority, they invaded and occupied the lands of the local people ruled by the Tendamba, established themselves as the rulers over the locals, made Gambaga their capital; the death of Naa Gbewaa caused civil war among his children, some of whom broke off and founded separate states including Dagbon, Mossi and Wala. Akan trade with European states began after contact with Portuguese in the 15th century. Early European contact by the Portuguese people, who came to the Gold Coast region in the 15th century to trade and established the Portuguese Gold Coast, focused on the extensive availability of gold; the Portuguese built a trading lodge at a coastal settlement called Anomansah which they renamed São Jorge da Mina. In 1481, King John II of Portugal commissioned Diogo d'Azambuja to build the Elmina Castle, completed in three years.
By 1598, the Dutch had joined the Portuguese in the gold trade, establishing the Dutch Gold Coast and building forts at Fort Komenda and Kormantsi. In 1617, the Dutch captured the Olnini Castle from the Portuguese, Axim in 1642. Other European traders had joined in gold trading by the mid-17th century, most notably the Swedes, establishing the Swedish Gold Coast, Denmark-Norway, establishing the Danish Gold Coast. Portuguese merchants, impressed with the gold resources in the area, named it Costa do Ouro or Gold Coast. Beginning in the 17th century — in addition to the gold trade — Portuguese, Dutch and French traders participated in the Atlantic slave trade in this area. More than thirty forts and castles were built by the Portuguese, Dano-Norwegians and German merchants. In 1874 Great Britain established control over some parts of the country, assigning these areas the status of British Gold Coast. Many military engagements occurred between the British colonial powers and the various Akan nation-states.
The Akan Kingdom of Ashanti defeated the British a few times i
In economics, geography and sociology, the dependency ratio is an age-population ratio of those not in the labor force and those in the labor force. It is used to measure the pressure on the productive population. Consideration of the dependency ratio is essential for governments, bankers, industry and all other major economic segments which can benefit from understanding the impacts of changes in population structure. A low dependency ratio means that there sufficient people working who can support the dependent population. A lower ratio could allow for better health care for citizens. A higher ratio indicates more financial stress on working people. While the strategies of increasing fertility and of allowing immigration of younger working age people have been formulas for lowering dependency ratios, future job reductions through automation may impact the effectiveness of those strategies. In published international statistics, the dependent part includes those under the age of 15 and over the age of 64.
The productive part makes up the population in between, ages 15 – 64. It is expressed as a percentage: D e p e n d e n c y r a t i o = + n u m b e r o f p e o p l e a g e d 15 t o 64 × 100 \times 100} As the ratio increases there may be an increased burden on the productive part of the population to maintain the upbringing and pensions of the economically dependent; this results in direct impacts on financial expenditures on things like social security, as well as many indirect consequences. The dependency ratio can be decomposed into the child dependency ratio and the aged dependency ratio: C h i l d d e p e n d e n c y r a t i o = n u m b e r o f p e o p l e a g e d 0 t o 14 n u m b e r o f p e o p l e a g e d 15 t o 64 × 100 A g e d d e p e n d e n c y r a t i o = n u m b e r o f p e o p l e a g e d 65 a n d o v e r n u m b e r o f p e o p l e a g e d 15 t o 64 × 100 Below is a table constructed from data provided by the UN Population Division, it show
The Ghanaian people are a nationality originating in the Ghanaian Gold Coast. Ghanaians predominantly inhabit the republic of Ghana, are the predominant cultural group and residents of Ghana, numbering 20 million people as of 2013. Ethnic Ghanaians make up 85.4% of the total population. The word "Ghana" means "warrior king". 20 million Ghanaians are residents of the Fourth Republic of Ghana. The term ethnic Ghanaian may be used in some contexts to refer to a locus of ethnic groups native to the Gold Coast; the Republic of Ghana is a natural resource, mineral resource and fossil fuel-rich nation and is home to one of the world's largest gold and sweet crude oil reserves and they are the second major producers of cocoa in the world. The Republic of Ghana is an economic powerhouse in West Africa, has one of the biggest economies on the African continent and one of the world's fastest growing economies; the origin and ethnogenesis of the ancient ethnic Ghanaians is traced back to nomadic migration from Nubia along the Sahara desert south to the Gold Coast, the Ghanaian ethnogenesis taking place on the Ghanaian Gold Coast region from the 10th century AD to the 16th century AD.
The Ghanaians started a lucrative trade with Ghanaian gold bars and other Ghanaian natural minerals to the Portuguese in 1471. The Ghanaians established a number of powerful kingdoms from the 10th century AD to the 17th century and the Ghanaians became the dominant military power in the west of Africa. In 1902, the powerful Ghanaian kingdoms had all become a colony of Britain and their powerful kingdoms was renamed Gold Coast following a series of military battles between the Ghanaians and the British; the Ghanaians gained their independence from Britain in 1957, renamed their sovereign state "Ghana" due to the fact that pre-historic Republic of Ghana was ruled by warriors. The Republic of Ghana was the first African country to gain independence from European colonization. Out of Ghana's 2013 population of 20 million people in 2013, more than ninety percent of the Ghanaian citizens in Ghana live in urban areas – a figure higher than the world average; the rate of Ghana's population growth is at the world average.
Most Ghanaian move to the urban areas to look for shelter due to the fact that, most of the well paid jobs resides in the City. Ghanaians have high level of education in Science, technology and vocational studies. However, the rural areas have large productivity in agricultural produce; the inhabitants of Ghana possessing Ghanaian passports are 20 million persons, including an additional 3‒4 million persons abroad. Ghana has a diverse population that reflects its colourful history and the peoples who have populated the region from ancient times to the present, with the historic amalgam of the main groups forming the basis of Ghana's current demographics. Native West Africans make up 98% percent of the population. There is a new population of Asians, Middle Easterners and other recent immigrants. To obtain Ghanaian nationality, one must be naturalized after seven years of Ghana Card permanent residency; the Asians, Middle Easterners and Europeans who have lived in Ghana for most of their lives have acquired Ghanaian citizenship, granted without any discrimination.
67.1% of Ghanaians speak English. There are over each with its own distinct language. However, languages that belong to the same ethnic group are mutually intelligible. There are nine language family groups and 11 languages from these groups are sponsored by the government: They are Akuapem Twi, Asante Twi, Mfantse, Ga, Dagbani, Dagaare and Kasem. During the colonial era, a number of Europeans intermarried with Africans and had offspring, who include such notable Gold Coasters as Carel Hendrik Bartels and James Bannerman. Most European settlers left the Gold Coast; the most significant immigrant populations in Ghana are Africans from other countries on the continent and Middle Easterners Lebanese and Syrians. According to a Y-DNA study by Wood et al. indigenous Ghanaians in Ghana carry 61% E1b1a. Indigenous Ghanaians in Ghana belong to paternal lineages: 2.2% E1a and. Indigenous Ghanaians in Ghana are 1.1% E1b1b clade bearers, a haplogroup, most common in North Africa and the Horn of Africa 1.1% carry West Eurasian haplogroup R1b.
The Ghanaian nationalism was suspended by the Ghanaian Government during the time of World War II, but was resumed in 1945. The Ghanaian allied with the Allies in World War II; the Fifth Pan-African Congress held on October 1945, served to form the support for the liberalization of Ghanaian colonial domination on 4 August 1947. On 12 June 1949, Kwame Nkrumah, formed the first governing party in the history of the Gold Coast, which did not cooperate with the British and which led to the achievement of Ghanaian independence and the opposition to the 1951 Constitution, in which Nkrumah was incarcerated together with his collaborators. On 8 February 1951, the first elections in the history of the Gold Coast were held. Ghanaian nationalism was initiated in organisation with the Ghanaian nationlist movement, the Big Six and through the Ghanaian Aborigines' Rights Protection Society.
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism is popularly considered to have begun in Germany in 1517 when Martin Luther published his Ninety-five Theses as a reaction against abuses in the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, which purported to offer remission of sin to their purchasers.
However, the term derives from the letter of protestation from German Lutheran princes in 1529 against an edict of the Diet of Speyer condemning the teachings of Martin Luther as heretical. Although there were earlier breaks and attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church—notably by Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Jan Hus—only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider and modern movement. In the 16th century, Lutheranism spread from Germany into Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Iceland. Reformed denominations spread in Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland and France by reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox; the political separation of the Church of England from the pope under King Henry VIII began Anglicanism, bringing England and Wales into this broad Reformation movement. Protestants have developed their own culture, with major contributions in education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy and the arts, many other fields. Protestantism is diverse, being more divided theologically and ecclesiastically than either the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, or Oriental Orthodoxy.
Without structural unity or central human authority, Protestants developed the concept of an invisible church, in contrast to the Roman Catholic view of the Catholic Church as the visible one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. Some denominations do have a worldwide scope and distribution of membership, while others are confined to a single country. A majority of Protestants are members of a handful of Protestant denominational families: Adventists, Anglicans, Reformed, Lutherans and Pentecostals. Nondenominational, charismatic and other churches are on the rise, constitute a significant part of Protestant Christianity. Proponents of the branch theory consider Protestantism one of the three major divisions of Christendom, together with the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy. Six princes of the Holy Roman Empire and rulers of fourteen Imperial Free Cities, who issued a protest against the edict of the Diet of Speyer, were the first individuals to be called Protestants; the edict reversed concessions made to the Lutherans with the approval of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V three years earlier.
The term protestant, though purely political in nature acquired a broader sense, referring to a member of any Western church which subscribed to the main Protestant principles. However, it is misused to mean any church outside the Roman and Eastern Orthodox communions. Protestantism as a general term is now used in contradistinction to the other major Christian traditions, i.e. Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. During the Reformation, the term protestant was hardly used outside of German politics. People who were involved in the religious movement used the word evangelical. For further details, see the section below. Protestant became a general term, meaning any adherent of the Reformation in the German-speaking area, it was somewhat taken up by Lutherans though Martin Luther himself insisted on Christian or evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ. French and Swiss Protestants instead preferred the word reformed, which became a popular and alternative name for Calvinists.
The word evangelical, which refers to the gospel, was used for those involved in the religious movement in the German-speaking area beginning in 1517. Nowadays, evangelical is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran and United Protestant traditions in Europe, those with strong ties to them. Above all the term is used by Protestant bodies in the German-speaking area, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany. In continental Europe, an Evangelical is either a Calvinist, or a United Protestant; the German word evangelisch means Protestant, is different from the German evangelikal, which refers to churches shaped by Evangelicalism. The English word evangelical refers to evangelical Protestant churches, therefore to a certain part of Protestantism rather than to Protestantism as a whole; the English word traces its roots back to the Puritans in England, where Evangelicalism originated, was brought to the United States. Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term evangelical, derived from euangelion, a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "gospel".
The followers of