My point is that I was not Orthodox when I did the study.
I don't think Protestants are really more distant from Orthodox than Rome or Non-Chalcedoneans, at least not the traditional ones.
The "proximity" of the Non-Chalcedoneans and Rome to Orthodoxy is basically aesthetical in that they all have Liturgies, hierarchy, traditional hymns.
And this perception of proximity is also culturally biased. Here in Brazil, traditionally a Roman country, the "progressist" thing to think is that Rome and Orthodoxy are almost the same, we are not like those Protestants or those Orientals, no-no-no, no way. I wouldn't be surprise that this feeling has even gotten stronger in Argentina lately.
Truth is that Orthodoxy, Non-Chalcedonians, Rome and Protestantism are four different religions. We don't worship the same God, the same Jesus, although we use the same words. And this sense of one being closer to the other is more conditioned by local alliances and local history than anything else. People are socially closer in certain places and then they simply wish doctrinal and historical differences were non-existant.
I, particularly, see much piety in many Protestants and a lot of lay asceticism in their behaviour, and simplicity in their temples and in that they are much closer to Orthodoxy than some festive liturgical Romans or ethnically grounded Non-Chalcedoneans. Now, of course, I say this because the Orthodox Churches here are rather welcoming of non-ethnics and I know fom the Internet that it is more closed elsewhere. So, as I said, this feeling of "proximity" is more related to the personal experience of groups and invidividuals than anything else.
Rather than talk about EO, OO, and Catholic differences, I wanted to concentrate more on how Protestantism is a far distance from these Apostolic traditions, because when you get to the whole depth of the issue between our churches, we actually have a lot more in common that what divides us.
It's very easy for me to claim, that when I read history, I am convinced of the principles the Oriental Orthodox Church went through in standing against the "sociological ruptures" of the overbearing Roman empire via Byzantine Caesaropapism/Latin Papism . But let's not play these games here. No church is without her historical "baggage".