Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Major groups within Christianity

Christianity From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Christianity began as an offshoot of Judaism,[6] and includes the Hebrew Bible (known to Christians as the Old Testament) as well as the New Testament as its canonized scriptures.[7] Like Judaism and Islam, Christianity is classified as an Abrahamic religion (see also, Judeo-Christian).[8][9]
Christian divisions. An icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea
There is a diversity of doctrines and practices among groups calling themselves Christian. These groups are sometimes classified under denominations, though for theological reasons many groups reject this classification system.[95] Christianity may be broadly represented as being divided into three main groupings:[96]
Roman Catholicism: The Roman Catholic Church, or "Catholic Church", includes the 23 particular churches in communion with the Bishop of Rome. It is the largest single body, with more than 1 billion baptized members.[97]
Eastern Orthodoxy: Those groups in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. The biggest particular churches are the Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox.
Protestantism: Groups such as the the Anglican Communion, Lutherans, Reformed/Presbyterians, Congregational/United Church of Christ, Evangelical, Charismatic, Baptists, Methodists, Nazarenes, Anabaptists, Seventh-day Adventists, Waldensians and Pentecostals. The oldest of these separated from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century Protestant Reformation, followed in many cases by further divisions. Estimates of the total number of Protestants are very uncertain, partly because of the difficulty in determining which denominations should be placed in this category, but it seems to be unquestionable that Protestantism is the second major branch of Christianity (after Roman Catholicism) in number of followers.[97]
Some Protestants identify themselves simply as Christian, or born-again Christian; they typically distance themselves from the confessionalism of other Protestant communities[98] by calling themselves "non-denominational" — often founded by individual pastors, they have little affiliation with historic denominations. Furthermore, many members of the the Anglican Communion, a group of Anglican and Episcopal Churches that are descended from the Church of England, claim to be both Protestant and Catholic. Finally, various small communities, such as the Old Catholic and Independent Catholic Churches, are similar in name to the Roman Catholic Church, but are not in communion with the See of Rome (the Old Catholic church is in communion with the Anglican Church).The Roman Catholic Church was simply called the "Catholic Church" until other groups started considering themselves "Catholic". The term "Roman Catholic" was made to distinguish the Roman Catholics from other groups.[99][100][101]
Restorationists are historically connected to the Protestant Reformation[102] and usually describe themselves as restoring the Church that they believe was lost at some point and not as "reforming" a Christian Church continuously existing from the time of Jesus. Restorationists include Churches of Christ with 2.6 million members, Disciples of Christ with 800,000 members,[103] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 12 million members,[97] and Jehovah’s Witnesses with 6.6 million members.[104] Though Restorationists have some superficial similarities, their doctrine and practices vary significantly.
Mainstream Christianity
Mainstream Christianity is a widely used[105] term, used to refer to collectively to the common views of major denominations of Christianity (such as Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Anglicanism, Orthodox Christianity) as against the particular tenets of other sects or Christian denomination. The context is dependent on the particular issues addressed, but usually contrasts the orthodox majority view against heterodox minority views. In the most common sense, "mainstream" refers to Nicene Christianity, or rather the traditions which continue to claim adherence to the Nicene Creed.[106][107]
Some groups identifying themselves as Christian deviate from the tenets considered basic by most Christian organizations. These groups are often considered heretical, or even non-Christian, by many mainstream Christians. This is particularly true of non-trinitarians. [1:53 PM 2:03 PM]

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