Comment: Sorry but it is not a one word answer...

(See in situ)

In reply to comment: Narrowing it down (see in situ)

Sorry but it is not a one word answer...

I think there are a few things that had an influence. One of the things is their view of God. The way you view God is the way you will behave, Catholicism tends to have a view that God is so far away, that you even need layers to get to Him. Go to a cathedral it is so big, communicating that God is so far away. A true view of God is one in which you can have a connection (the term used is relationship) with Him. He is special (holy) yet he is not just you buddy. In parenthesis this is one of the problems with “modern Protestantism” now God is just you buddy, you drinking partner. They have lost the true reverence for Him and it shows in the music and many other things they do. The second problem is that Catholicism is a righteousness by works philosophy. You “have to” do something to appease God. You will be shock at the things people do, like in the Philippines people literary crucify themselves (check this website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/philippines/9...). Many places in Latin-American people go on their knees and walk miles, put cactus around their chest, all kinds of things so that God can give them some sort of favor. I don’t know if you have ever been to a Catholic service to me it seem so mechanical, were people just repeat things. Even the prayers somewhat they think that if you repeat certain words over and over, as if they are magical words then the thing happens. Jesus warn against this (Mat 6:7 "When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.") It is as if my daughter comes and tell me the same thing, even though it is nicely made, over and over. I don't want to hear that, I want to hear what is really in her heart.
There is a word used in Latinoamerica called “tranza” which means you take advantage of others. For example, you are selling something, you on purpose take advantage of the other person, you get you ill gotten gain then in the evening or next morning go to church “confess” to the priest as if nothing happen repeat over and over some pre-formed “prayer” and you are done. Then go and repeat you “tranza” behavior. In Protestantism you are accountable to God and your fellow brethren, you have a divine law that directs your behavior and you are not trying to do it because you are going to be saved but rather to build that relationship with God. That is why if your behavior is not good you will be expel the church. Why? Because you have to maintain a certain standard if you have the name Christian and you are a living testimony to those around you. For example in Latin America I meet the guy that open the church everyday and he told he is living with another lady, and this have gone for years. What kind of testimony do you give? See my point?
In Catholicism many people don’t read the Bible, you just follow tradition. Many houses have Bibles but they are there so they can “bless” the house and they don’t read it. In fact in the medieval ages there was a war against reading the bible or having it in a language other than Latin.
It actually frees you up when you find that truth, (that is why there is a ministry around called www.unshackled.org). That system tends to complicate things, Protestantism bring liberty that remove layers. They have even complicated things in Heaven, i.e. the person talks to the priest, the priest talks to the saint, the saint talks to the virgin, the virgin talks to Jesus and Jesus talks to God. Protestantism removes that bureaucracy, you go to Jesus straight and he takes care of you. I believe that complication is contagious in the society, if you have ever wanted to do some legal paperwork in latin America there are these layers of complication.
That freedom that Protestantism brought stimulate creativity and it is contagious also. And that freedom reflects in all aspects of your life not only at the spiritual level but even in the legislative realm and form of government. That is a secret to their success. It frees you up from superstitions and fear and make your purpose to be your best and serve others. That message did not merely change external religious practices but had a deep change in the way people think. That made a huge difference in the way the society as a whole operated.
Socialism did not give the success to Scandinavia those ideas gain a lot of strength around the 60's and 70's with the raise of the labor party (the equivalent to the Democrats of America) in fact when you investigate the issue that is harming a lot those countries.
So today in Latin America you find two main groups today, some that continue their never ending routines of ceremonies and a ever increasing group of people (specially young) that a tired of that righteousness by works that today they have more of a secular view point yet they call themselves Catholics even though the last time they participated was years ago and they don't have anything to do with it.
Let me illustrate this point, when I arrived to Scandinavia I saw that it was a totally different world from Latin-America, prosperity, cleanliness, honesty, etc. and I said to my self, I have to find out how do they got here! So I went to the library to read history books about Scandinavia. I was shocked at what I found, I found that when they were Catholics it was like they were describing me Latin-American in the 1800’s the people live with out peace, the religious system has taken advantage of taking their lands and money, people were poor and government together with the catholic church were taking advantage of them. It was a very corrupted system so when Luther comes with the message of the true Gospel people were so happy to be free that they happily embraced that message. The way that Catholicism spread (especially in Latin America) was by force and violence, anybody that bothers in reading history will be shocked. Read the book of Foxes books of martyrs (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/22400)or a great book called The Great Controversy (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25833/25833-pdf.pdf). e.g. In the Dominican Republic the natives of that island all disappear the modern inhabitants are different people (http://www.travel-dominicanrepublic.com/dominican-republic-h...). And yes, sometimes the protestants may have used violence, but it was isolated instances. In closing the problem in Scandinavia today is that the protestant church became a part of the government, so you know how the story of that will end up. Once the government puts his spoon, they literally killed that church so today what gave them prosperity it is just a dead church today. In America there is indication (and somewhat it is hard to prove but we see a lot of evidence) is that something have infiltrated (maybe Jesuits?!?) and mess up the whole thing. This is no conspiracy theory but if you look into it there is a lot of evidence. In fact this is my personal theory I think the fail presidential attempt of Ron Paul was stopped by the similar "group", I am trying to gather facts to prove or disprove that idea at the moment....

A good way to defend your freedoms: www.libertymagazine.org