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Protestant

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PROTESTANT: Generic term for non-Roman Catholic Christian sects, including Anglican, Church of Scotland and Presbyterian. Members of the latter sect form the religious majority in Northern Ireland, thanks to massive land settlements in the 16th century after the Reformation by Henry VIII. These were bribes for support in his campaign against the Pope.

In Scotland, the Protestant/Catholic divide is vented on the football field. In Ulster, no such outlet exists (sport is remarkably ecumenical). Instead, politics and religion are closely entwined.

Until recently, supreme power in Ulster was exercised, from the Stormont parliament, by the majority (Protestant) Democratic Unionist Party.

Members of the Orange Order Orange Order - an exclusively Protestant organisation loosely based on the structures of Freemasonry - are organised into Lodges along Freemason lines. This Order - named after Prince William of Orange, who defeated the Catholic King James II in 1690 - was formed in 1795 to "...protect the Crown and swear allegiance to the Defender of the Faith, Catholics need not apply!" following sectarian clashes between Protestants and Catholics in Ulster. The Orange Order dominated employment and social advancement in Northern Ireland from 1921 until the start of the latest "Troubles" in 1969.

The Protestant movement within the Christian faith had its genesis in the early 16th century, when a German monk in Nuremberg, Martin Luther, first challenged the teachings of the established Church in Rome by nailing up a s/hit-list, thus establishing an unfortunate geo-historical precedent. From about 1522, his writings and teachings regarding what would today be regarded as minor detail, brought him into conflict with the power brokers in Rome.