There was great religious turmoil during this time period. This tumultuous force was the Reformation. After Martin Luther posted his Ninety-five Theses, it took relatively little time for northern Europe’s nations to become primarily Protestant, while the southern countries retained and strengthened their Catholic identities during the Counter-Reformation. There was the intense us vs. them battle of religion, and art was in the middle. Once the Reformation began, Protestant leaders such as John Calvin and Huldreich Zwingli encouraged iconoclastic movements, which denounced Catholic imagery as idolatrous and called for its destruction. However, the Protestants did not condemn all art—they chiefly opposed the Catholic religious art, to which Catholics of the time gave reverence. The chief argument between Catholic and Protestant was that the Protestants believed the Catholics held their relics and imagery sacred, instead of revering Christ. In contrast, the Roman Catholic Church had embarked in the 1550s on a program of renewal known as the Counter - Reformation. As part of the program, the Catholic Church used art of the magnificent display for the campaign. It was intended to be both doctrinally correct and visually and emotionally appealing so that it could influence the largest possible audience. Their paintings glorified Catholic traditions, the sacraments, and the saints. Clearly, the content of their work contrasted strongly with that of the northern Protestants’ work.