Branches of Christianity
Christianity is the world's biggest religion, with about 2.billion followers worldwide. There are three main branches of Christianity: Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestantism. Over the years Christianity divided into three major branches and many minor ones.
The Roman Catholic branch of Christianity is the successor of the church established in Rome soon after Christ's death. It traces its spiritual history to the early disciples of Jesus. Roman Catholicism was originally practiced in Ireland, Poland, France and Spain but has since spread throughout South America.
During the fourth century, the Roman Catholic Church split and the Eastern Orthodox emerged in the countries of the East. The split was caused by politics and as the Roman Empire divided and came into being in 1054. Orthodox churches are independent of one another and are situated in the following main countries Russia, Greece, Romania, the Ukraine, and Armenia.
The Protestant branch split from Roman Catholicism during the Reformation, a sixteenth and seventeenth century series of church reforms in doctrine and practice. This movement challenged the authority of the Pope, and major branches came to be established in Scandinavia, England, and the Netherlands, after bitter wars and fighting with the Catholic Church Protestantism divided itself into many denominations came about due to differences over doctrine, theology, or religious practice.
Primarily located at the Vatican in Rome, Poland, central and southern Europe, Ireland, and South America.
The church subscribes to the Immaculate Conception and Mary is the contemplative heart of the Catholic Church, where heaven and earth meet in the form of Jesus. The Church is seen as the Bride of Christ and the saints are the glory of the church, reflected in the statement “Many are called but few are chosen” The Church is a family and the Pope is its focus and figurehead.
Became independent of the Roman Catholic Church in 1054. Includes the churches of Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Romania, Russia, Serbia and the Sinai. The Orthodox Church shares much with the other Christian churches in the belief that God revealed himself in Jesus Christ, and a belief in the incarnation of Christ, his crucifixion and resurrection. The Orthodox Church however differs in the way of life and worship.
Each church is self governing but they are to varying degrees in communion with one another, and their members think of themselves as belonging primarily to the Eastern Church and only secondarily to their particular divisions within it.
It differs from the Catholic Church in not subscribing to the Immaculate Conception and does not have a pope. Truth is disclosed through the conscience of the church via a consensus of Christians Bishops decisions focus the decisions of all Christians and do not decide them. All members are considered saints not just those sainted as in Roman Catholicism. Mysticism figures more prominently in the cultures of the East and the Church actively encourages and condones mysticism.
The Bible of the Orthodox Church is basically the same as the Western churches with one major difference - its Old Testament is based on the ancient Jewish translation into Greek called the Septuagint and not Hebrew.
Dominates the northern areas of Europe, England, Scotland and most of North America. Split from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century over religious differences. Not so much a church as it is a movement of churches with no single authority. Justification by faith. The main Protestant Principle is the relative should not be absolutized (chief Protestant idolatry is bibliolatry). Protests against idolatry because it testifies for (pro-testant = one who testifies for) God’s sovereignty in human life.
Baptists form the fifth largest Christian church in the world. Baptist churches are found in almost every country in the world and have about 45 million members worldwide. Today, Baptists are represented globally by the Baptist World Alliance which was founded in 1905. It provides an international forum for the exchange of Baptist thought, paying special attention to matters concerning Christian education, religious freedom, human rights and missions.
For Baptists, the church is not just a particular place or building, but rather a family of believers, committed to Christ, to one another and the community and whose aim is his service of God in the world. As individuals and as churches, Baptists seek to make God play a part in every aspect of their lives. Baptists believe that the Bible shows God's way for living and it is up to them to follow his way in everyday life. Local churches will usually have a chosen minister to serve among them. The minister functions as a church member with special responsibilities in caring for the members and leading the church itself.
There are Methodist Churches in nearly every country in the world and global membership numbers some 80 million people. The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God's love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission. John Wesley taught four key points fundamental to Methodism:
1. Man is free not only to reject salvation but also to accept it (free salvation) by an act of human will.
2. All people who are obedient to the Gospel according to the measure of knowledge given them will be saved (universal salvation).
3. The Holy Spirit assures man of his salvation directly, through an inner "experience" (sure salvation).
4. Christians in this life are capable of Christian perfection and are commanded by God to pursue it (full salvation).
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Millennialist Protestant Christian denomination that was formed in the 1860s in the USA.
The belief which makes Seventh-day Adventists different is the belief that Saturday is the Sabbath (the day of worship). They believe that when God first created the world and he put a special blessing and significance on Saturday, or the seventh day. Seventh-day Adventists all over the world attend church on a Saturday. The seventh day of the week, Saturday, is observed as the day of rest and worship. The time of worship is observed from Friday evening to Saturday evening, from sunset to sunset.
Missionary work is very important to the Church and all Adventists believe they have a duty to share their beliefs with others and spread Christianity.
The Exclusive Brethren
Are an Evangelical Protestant Christian church related to the Christian or Open Brethren. Members of the church follow a rigid code of conduct based very strictly on Bible teaching, which provides a moral framework and is focused on a strong family unit. They keep themselves separate from other people and other Christians as they believe the world is a place of wickedness. They regard 'exclusiveness' as the only way to keep away from evil which separates them out from the other main branches of Christianity.
Note : There are many other branches of Christianity and we will be updating this page shortly