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Protestantism

Protestantism is the second-largest form of Christianity with a total of 800 million to 1 billion adherents worldwide or about 37% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the 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 began 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 the remission of the temporal punishment of sins 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 Protestantism. Proponents of the branch theory consider Protestantism one of the four major divisions of Christianity together with the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches. 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.

Any Western Christian, not an adherent of the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church, or Eastern Orthodox Church is a Protestant. A Protestant is an adherent of any of those Christian bodies that separated from the Church of Rome during the Reformation, or of any group descended from them. 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 meani

Giovanni Messe

Giovanni Messe was an Italian general and field marshal. He is considered by many to have been the best Italian general of the Second World War. Messe was born in Mesagne, in the Province of Brindisi in the Apulia region of Italy on 10 December 1883. Giovanni Messe pursued a military career in 1901, he saw action in the First World War. During this conflict, he gave an important contribution to the creation and training of the "Arditi", elite infantry units, with the rank of maggiore was the commander of the IX Nono Reparto Arditi that fought in the zone of Monte Grappa. Emerging decorated from these conflicts, he became aide-de-camp to King Victor Emmanuel III, holding this post from 1923 to 1927. From this date until 1935, Messe held the rank of colonel. In September 1935, Messe assumed command of a motorised brigade in Verona, with the rank of brigadier general. Following a successful period of service with this unit in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, Messe was promoted to rank of major general and he became commander of the 3rd Cavalry Division.

On April 1939, following the Italian invasion of Albania, Messe was appointed to serve under Albania's governor, General Ubaldo Soddu. Messe commanded a corps during the Greco-Italian War of late 1940 and early 1941 and achieved some success against Greek forces commanded by Alexandros Papagos. Before winter had set in however, the Italian forces were forced onto the defensive, as Greek forces launched a counterattack and moved into parts of Italian controlled Albania. In April 1941, with the help of the German Armed Forces, the Battle of Greece ended in an Axis victory. In other circumstances, the armoured warfare experience Messe possessed might have caused him to be given a command alongside Erwin Rommel in North Africa. But, instead, he was chosen to be the commander of the Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia; the CSIR was a mobile infantry and cavalry unit of the Italian army that took part in Operation Barbarossa, the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union. The number of Italian troops in southern Russia numbered around 60,000.

Messe never thought that this force was properly outfitted or supplied for the extreme conditions of the "Russian Front". By July 1942, the far larger Italian Army in Russia replaced the CSIR and General Italo Gariboldi replaced Messe. On 1 November 1942 Messe left Russia; the number of Italian troops in Russia had grown to about 200,000. Although the troops fought well during the initial summer campaign, they lacked anti-tank weaponry suitable in winter conditions. During the German defeat at Stalingrad, the campaign in the Soviet Union turned against the Axis powers. Alongside Romanian and German forces, the Italian army was mauled during Operation Saturn on the flanks of Stalingrad while trying to hold back the Soviet forces. In February 1943, Messe was appointed as the new commander of the Italo-German Tank Army commanded by Erwin Rommel; the name was changed to 1st Italian Army in recognition of the fact that the army consisted of one German and three Italian corps. Rommel was promoted to the command of the new Army Group Africa.

Messe fought a defensive campaign against the advancing American and British forces and was defeated at the Mareth Line. His continuous tactical delay of the Allied offensive could not prevent the inevitable defeat of the Axis in North Africa. On 12 May 1943 Messe was promoted to the rank of marshal of Italy. On 13 May, the 5th German Tank Army collapsed with the fall of Tunis and the 1st Italian Army was surrounded, still holding the line at Enfidaville. Messe along with Kurt Freiherr von Liebenstein formally surrendered to British and New Zealand forces under General Bernard Freyberg; as a loyal supporter of the Royalist cause, like many Italian officers Messe soon found himself re-employed, when after the Italian armistice in September 1943, he was made chief of staff of the Italian Co-Belligerent Army, consisting of those units loyal to King Victor Emmanuel, many of which were reconstituted from Italian POWs and armed by the Allies. He served in this post with distinction until the war's end and retired from the military in 1947 after 46 years of distinguished service.

His life was not uneventful. Following the conclusion of the war, he wrote a book about his experiences, entitled Come finì la guerra in Africa. La "Prima Armata" italiana in Tunisia, his military popularity remained with him in civilian life and from 1953 to 1955, Messe was a democratically elected representative in the Italian Senate. He was president of the Italian Veterans Association, a post which he held until his death, his life was profiled in a biography written by Luigi Argentieri titled Messe—soggetto di un'altra storia published in 1997. Giovanni Messe died on 18 December 1968, at the age of eighty-five. Silver Medal of Military ValorGorizia, 21–23 May 1917 War Merit Cross – Albania, 19 June 1920 Promotion for War Merits – to Lieutenant General, ValonaKalamas, 1940–1941 Promotion for War Merits – to Lieutenant Colonel, 1918

Jarrow and District Electric Tramway

The Jarrow and District Electric Tramway operated an electric tramway service in Jarrow between 1906 and 1929. The Jarrow and District Electric Traction Company was a subsidiary of British Electric Traction, it operated tramway services in Jarrow and the line through Tyne Dock connected with the tracks of the South Shields Corporation Tramways and through services were offered to South Shields. A reciprocal agreement allowed South Shields Corporation Tramways cars to operate over Jarrow company tracks; the Jarrow company received 3s 6d per mile from the South Shields Corporation Tramways to cover working expenses including electrical power and track maintenance. The company replaced its tram services with buses in 1929. Jarrow and District Electric Tramway at the British Tramway Company Badges and Buttons website