Christian Denominational Families

Christian Denominational Families

A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. Some groups included do not consider themselves a denomination (e.g., the Catholic Church considers itself the one true church and the Apostolic See, and as pre-denominational). Some groups viewed by non-adherents as denominational actively resist being called a denomination and do not have any formal denominational structure, authority, or record-keeping beyond the local congregation; several groups within Restoration Movement fall into this category.

Some groups are large (e.g. Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans or Baptists), while others are just a few small churches, and in most cases the relative size is not evident in this list. Modern movements such as Fundamentalist Christianity, Pietism, Evangelicalism, Pentecostalism and the Holiness movement sometimes cross denominational lines, or in some cases create new denominations out of two or more continuing groups, (as is the case for many United and uniting churches, for example). Such subtleties and complexities are not clearly depicted here.

Note: This is not a complete list, but aims to provide a comprehensible overview of the diversity among denominations of Christianity. As there are reported to be approximately 41,000 Christian denominations, many of which cannot be verified to be significant, only those denominations with Wikipedia articles will be listed in order to ensure that all entries on this list are notable and verifiable.

Between denominations, theologians, and comparative religionists there are considerable disagreements about which groups can be properly called Christian, disagreements arising primarily from doctrinal differences between groups. For the purpose of simplicity, this list is intended to reflect the self-understanding of each denomination. Explanations of different opinions concerning their status as Christian denominations can be found at their respective articles.

There is no official recognition in most parts of the world for religious bodies, and there is no official clearinghouse which could determine the status or respectability of religious bodies. Often there is considerable disagreement between various churches about whether other churches should be labeled with pejorative terms such as "cult", or about whether this or that group enjoys some measure of respectability. Such considerations often vary from place to place, where one religious group may enjoy majority status in one region, but be widely regarded as a "dangerous cult" in another part of the world. Inclusion on this list does not indicate any judgment about the size, importance, or character of a group or its members.

Read more about Christian Denominational Families:  Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodoxy, Church of The East, Protestantism, Nontrinitarian Groups, New Thought, Esoteric Christianity, Syncretistic Religions Incorporating Elements of Christianity

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