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Home > History of religion > Christianity > Divisions of Christianity
Divisions of Christianity
It appears that Christian Church remained undivided for a little over one thousand years. Then in 1054, the Church was divided into `The Eastern Orthodox Church` and `the Roman Catholic Church`.Divisions of Christianity The reason of this rift was the claim of the bishops of Rome for being the supreme authority. The Eastern Greek Church rejected this claim and became independent of the Roman Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox Churches comprise Greek and Russian churches, Eastern European Churches and also of some other churches in the Mediterranian countries which once formed part of Byzantime Empire. The Supreme religious authority belongs to Ecumenical Council which alone is entrusted with the task of interpreting the `holy tradition`.

It is the largest single branch which accepts the supreme authority and primacy of the Pope. However, in 1962-1965, Second Vatican Council stressed that due recognition has to be given to the authority of the corporate body of the bishops as an episcopal college.

PROTESTANT CHURCHES Roman Catholic Church was further subdivided into Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches in 1517 by the great schism led by Martin Luther`s reformation. There are a number of Protestant Churches, as a result of Luther`s reformation.

CharchThe Anglican Church has kept close to Roman Catholicism in its belief and practices. It rejects the authority of the Pope and the doctrine of Mass. This enjoys the fellowship of many churches with the Archbishop of Canterbury as the First amongst equals, of the heads of the Churches.

Lutheran Church is the Chief Protestant Church of Germany and Scandinavia. It includes liturgy in Church Service, but sermon (the Biblical preaching) is given the main and central place in church worship. The Lutherans are numerous in Ranchi.

The Presbyterian Churches found by John Calvin are in mid-Europe and Scotland. Along with the Lutherans, they lay stress on the reading and studies of the Bible.

Congregational Church emphasizes the independence of the local church.

Baptist Churches insist on adult baptism for including a person in church membership. Once at Patna, Monghyr and Gaya, Baptist Churches were quite strong. They believed in the evangelism of the gospel of Jesus.

The Methodilt Church was found by John Wesley. At present the membership of this church is very strong in America. In India there is also a `Methodist Church of Asia`. Pentecostal Churches are going strong in America and also in India. They stress the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding the church activities. In church worship, the members are noticed talking in foreign tongues as the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Salvation Army churches reject the Sacraments (the Holy Communion), but emphasize the need of preaching the Gospel and social service.

The Quakers assemble in the church but believe in Silent worship and social service. Christian Brethren hold on to the primacy of the Bible and evangelism.

The World Council of Churches was established in 1948 which lays emphasis on the loyalty to Jesus Christ as God and Saviour.

Divisions of Christianity In India there is the Union of Churches of North India and of South India. It functions through dioceses presided over by elected bishops. A bishop has a good deal of administrative powers, but is not necessarily a sanctified person.
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