Talk:List of Christian denominations

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Pre-Luther Protestants[edit]

Cathars? I don't believe the Cathars belong here any more than would the Arians or the Gnostics. Just because a group resisted and was persecuted by the Catholics doesn't necessarily make them Protestant. Cathar beliefs certainly don't mesh with what is generally regarded as Protestantism.

Agreed. For my part, I don't think the historical "pre-luther Protestants" belong here at all; this is a list of current groups, not once-upon-a-time groups. Tb (talk) 01:43, 14 April 2010 (UTC)


It has come to our attention that Conservative Friends (Wilburites) were missing from the list. We added them. Conservative Quakerism is alive and well in the USA, Canada, UK, Greece, etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:41, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Who is "we"? It is not permitted to edit Wikipedia as a group, only as an individual. Tb (talk) 17:39, 22 February 2010 (UTC)


Isn't listing both Christian Science and Church of Christ, Scientist redundant, or was this intentional to distinguish the church from the ideas? WilliamKF (talk) 03:10, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Seems like a mistake to me, though aren't there some adherents who are not part of Church of Christ, Scientist? That is, I think there are breakaway groups of some kind, though I can't recall any details. Tb (talk) 04:43, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, not all followers are members of the church, but probably same can be said for any religion, so I'd say it should be removed. WilliamKF (talk) 00:18, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

subgroups of armenian apostolic church[edit]

I am nervous about the new additions under the Armenian Apostolic Church (Oriental Orthodox). There are a couple problems. First, they are not links to what they appear to be, for several of them. Our practice here is only to link to churches that have Wikipedia pages, and several of these are links to something other than the actual named church body. For example, the link named "Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin" does not point to the Catholicosate (a church organization) but rather to Catholicos of All Armenians, which is a description of an office. (It is as if "Roman Catholic Church" linked to Pope or "Church of England" linked to Archbishop of Canterbury.) Likewise "Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople" links to Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, and "Catholicosate of Cilica" links to Holy See of Cilicia. Second, the practice has been to identify more or less independent groups. For those subject to the pope, we list each church sui juris; we list each independent Anglican church; we list autonomous and autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches. It would be bad to set the precedent that we list the internal hierarchical subdivisions too far down for groups (especially when those subdivisions don't have their own pages), or the page would become unmanagably huge. It's not that the specific case of the Armenian Apostolic Church is a problem, but that the precedent set will get used to start listing every Roman Catholic province, every presbytery in the PCUSA, and so forth. The page at Oriental Orthodoxy does list these groups, but I think we need to be careful. The key question is, however vaguely, what degree of autonomy do they enjoy? Is it at all similar to the three second-level subdivisions in this category now? And, more to the point, our policy has always been that links should be added here only after the bodies in question have their own Wikipedia articles. And so:

  • I object to the inclusion of all but the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem since they don't have wikipedia pages of their own, and
  • I object (but less strenuously) to the Jerusalem listing because it is not clear what autonomy (if any) it enjoys within the Armenian Apostolic Church.
  • I've removed the three that are incorrect links, and left the Jerusalem one for now, and would appreciate more discussion. Tb (talk) 02:06, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Requirement for reliable sources[edit]

This list should comply with the guidelines of WP:SAL. This includes "where the membership criteria are subjective or likely to be disputed, list definitions should be based on reliable sources". With particular regard to the section List of Christian denominations#New religious movements which includes some organizations that have been termed "cults" in the press, these definitely fall in the area of "likely to be disputed" and require third party sources. I am unclear on how an organization that may call itself "Christian" but has no official recognition and may even be seen as a money-making scam could be labelled a "Christian denomination" as the term denomination would be in contradiction to the lack of official recognition.

For example the Shangra-la Mission has no official status as a "denomination" as it existed as website with two people who declared themselves "anointed messengers for the Great White Brotherhood". With no third party sources to back up an assertion that their organization is considered a "Christian denomination", their inclusion here is ridiculous.

I am adding the references needed tag back on this basis.—Ash (talk) 21:02, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

You have misunderstood the membership criteria. The membership criteria do not include whether a group is or is not a money-making scam, nor do they refer to any kind of official recognition. (And recognition by whom, exactly, would you want?) The membership criteria are instead those in the italics in the lead:
* The list reflects the self-understanding of each group
* The list only includes groups which have Wikipedia articles
* Status as Christian denominations can be found at their respective articles
Those are quite objective and not likely to be disputed. In the case of the Shangra-la Mission, there is no indication on its wikipedia page, or its own website, that it claims to be Christian, and so I've deleted it. Feel free to make further edits along those lines, but remember, that it is not relevant whether a group has "official recognition", nor is the list a claim about whether a group is or is not a "money making scam". Instead, it is a list of groups which understand themselves to be Christian, and are categorized in accord with their self-understanding. Tb (talk) 22:34, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I understand the membership criteria as stated, I also understand the meaning of the word "denomination". If organizations are included with no requirement for any third party or "authoritative" acceptance of their status then the word denomination should be removed from the list name as it is being mis-used. Would you like me to propose such a name change?—Ash (talk) 22:47, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I think the problem is twofold. First, the word "denomination" doesn't mean "official", it doesn't mean "respectable". It means "label". (Note the etymology.) But rather than that, focus on the the practical question directly. Suppose a group has no third-party anywhere which refers to them or says anything about them. In that case, the article for the group itself should be deleted (as you've proposed for Shangra-la Mission, about which I agree). Since only groups with wikipedia pages are allowed in this list, groups which are not really in existence can't make it. But what about groups which do unquestionably exist, but are money-making scams? For example, many think that the Church of Scientology is nothing but a big giant money-making scam. However, if they self-identified as Christian (which they happen not to) they would unquestionably belong on this list. Consider that the LDS are here: not because other Christian churches think they are "real" (by and large, most other Christian groups think the LDS are not Christian at all), but we certainly can't get into that POV-laden nightmare. It seems as if there is one group which was listed here incorrectly (which doesn't meet the standards at all) and you have concluded that the standards are bad. In that case, I would invite you to propose alternative standards which avoid the POV-laden problem of addressing who is a "real" denomination or a "real" church or a "real" Christian. Tb (talk) 22:54, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
You are using the etymology of denominate for denomination which in this context has the specific definition of "a recognized branch of a church or religion" (according to the OED). Consequently the list is mis-named given the current inclusion criteria. The list should be moved to a weaker name such as List of Christian organizations if you wish to avoid any possible further disputes over inclusion due to a lack of sources to demonstrate "recognition" (as per WP:SAL).—Ash (talk) 23:24, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't know which OED you are looking at. The Oxford English Dictionary entry for "denomination" does not include the word "recognized" anywhere in it. It says "5. A collection of individuals classed together under the same name; now almost always spec. a religious sect or body having a common faith and organization, and designated by a distinctive name." Do I get to cry foul when what you quote isn't in the source you quoted? Tb (talk) 23:45, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Further investigation shows that the phrase "branch of a church or religion" does not occur anywhere within the Oxford English Dictionary. (Online OED is awesome, huh?) Since your own chosen source rather proves my point, can we return to issues of substance instead of terminology? If there are groups listed here which should not be, then please, help improve the encyclopedia, and identify them. You already noted one, which you were independently interested in, I understand. If there are others, we should address them. But history shows that the dispute you want to avoid hasn't been a problem. (Far more often has been the "hey, they're not really Christian even though the claim to be" complaint, and the consensus for managing this article has thus far been quite satisfactory at addressing those without needless dispute or POV problems.) Tb (talk) 23:52, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm using the compact online version, free so anyone can check it for themselves: - WP:AGF applies.—Ash (talk) 05:24, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Alas, you've been tricked by OUP. The "Compact OED" is not the OED at all, and they used the name simply to gain some cache from its more respectable older sibling. Given that the OED itself says nothing about recognition, it is clear that at the very least, there is nothing about the word "denomination" which necessarily implies some kind of official recognition--at most, it is sometimes used that way, and sometimes not. (Though I think actually, the OED is simply a better source.) And, if the word is ambiguous, the right course is for the article to make its usage clear. I've indeed already added a paragraph to the explanatory notes after the lead addressing just this issue. Since the listing you objected to was not controversial, are there any others? Are there any other listings you think are doubtful? Or if not, are there none that you are inclined to doubt? As I said, I'd prefer to discuss issues of substance. Tb (talk) 05:30, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
The compact OED is created by OUP and by the same editing staff. Perhaps you could point to the part of WP policy that tells us which published English dictionaries are acceptable sources? I know of no requirement that states that the full OED has to be used. As for which further organisations require sources on this list, I suggest the rest of the New Age movements and in particular any movement based on Theosophy. Checking Share International, they are a "spiritual" organization but not a specifically "Christian" one. I really don't want to have to validate the rest of the list for you, it seems perfectly reasonable for me to ask that WP:SAL applies; basically if other editors have doubts then reliable sources are required, SAL does not expect other editors to prove a case against each separate item on the list before sources are added.—Ash (talk) 05:55, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
It's not created by the same staff, but that's beside the point. The point is that the word "denomination" does not necessarily imply some kind of official recognition, since at least one pretty darn major source for the meaning of the word doesn't take it as implying that. If lexicographers disagree, that means the word is ambiguous, not that it necessarily implies recognition. Since it's ambiguous, the appropriate course is to clarify usage in the article, as is now the case. As for the particular cases, I'm happy to go through them it detail. Once that's done, I'll invite you again to raise any objections you have. Tb (talk) 06:04, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm grateful for your attention to this. A brief perusal of all those groups shows that your suspicions were certainly correct. I don't object in principle to anyone who wants to add sources. At the same time, I think it's ridiculous to doubt that the PCUSA or the Roman Catholic Church is belongs here simply because it doesn't have a source. Their own pages have perfectly adequate sources already. Are there other cases you think should be examined? Tb (talk) 06:17, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Okay, I'll add an references needed tag against New religious movements and New Thought rather than the whole article. The normal interpretation of WP:SAL is that the argument that references are available on another WP page is not sufficient for disputed information or information about living people.
In this case it may not be obvious to readers or correct that a new religious movement is self-defined as Christian, in particular that such a movement believes in a messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament. Where such movements use the term "Christ" this may or may not be in reference to the conventional Jesus, but may also be part of a belief in several "anointed ones" or "masters" which would be in contradiction with the standard use of the term "Christian". In summary, if an organization does not clearly define itself as "Christian" or where an organization does not specifically believe in Jesus (as defined in the Old Testament) or believes in several messiahs, then they should not be part of this list.—Ash (talk) 07:34, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
We tend to want to stay away from doctrinal tests, because they are intrinsically POV problems, entirely apart from a question of sourcing. But in practice, I don't think there is too much trouble sorting out the cases, and your help towards that goal has been much appreciated. Tb (talk) 20:18, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
New Thought is an unusual and special case, I think. Unity Church explicitly and clearly considers itself Christian--though most Christians would of course find their beliefs quite heterodox. Divine Science is more in the "we are Christian, of a different sort, and we teach what Jesus taught". Religious Science (as you correctly note) is more distant from Christianity still. These are weird cases, indeed, but also quite different (in history and in character) from the Ascended Masters cases that first came to your attention. It's also not right to lump the New Thought folks in with the new religious movements; they were once new, but they're old hat now. (When I first ran into a guy who was part of Unity, I was flabbergasted at how old they actually are. If they are "new", then so are the Mormons and the Pentecostals.) Tb (talk) 20:36, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

I've made a slew of recent edits now, much cleaning up this section. My own concern is far more with the mainstreamy things, and I'm grateful for your prodding to clean up this grubby corner of the page and bring it up to proper standards. Will you give another look and see what you think? Most crucially, it occurs to me that "new" is not a category--that "new movement" is the modern neologism for "cult", without the negative overtones--when this page should not be concerned there, but rather with what it claims to: historical and doctrinal categorization. The remaining groups fell into three categories: syncretistic groups (hence the new section title), where I cleaned out the ones that didn't actually include Christian elements, one group which is simply another non-Trinitarian group, and one group which is a secular association. I think it's vastly improved, though surely more work remains to be done. Tb (talk) 20:56, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Note in the beginning of the article imprecise[edit]

According to the note, there are more than 38'000 sects. If the link to the source is followed, the wording is *approximately*. If *their* source is followed, the number is 33830 as of 2001 (source: )

Could somebody verify and fix this? Thanks :) (talk) 11:27, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

I've changed the wording to say "approximately". Thanks. Tb (talk) 21:36, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Time to update the DIAGRAM, its not Roman Catholic Church but Catholic Church[edit]

Considering Wikipedia has made a decision to remove the Roman prefix as RCC does not represent Eastern Catholics (part of the world wide Catholisim, along with Latin/Western Catholism)...its time to make the clarification to this citation, and simply state: Catholic Church with perhaps Latin/Western and Eastern subdivisions (recongizing that Maronite and Italo-Albanian churches never left the universal Church.Micael (talk) 23:05, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

"We" have made no such decision. It depends on the context. In this context, to remove it is insulting to the other churches, listed right there, who consider themselves equally catholic. Just as the "Eastern Orthodox" are not only in the East, just as the ancient Church of Assyria is headquartered in Chicago, so also the Roman Catholic Church is not only the Roman one. In this context it is wildly POV to start talking about who "left the universal Church". In this context we are not making POV statements about who has left what. We must find a term which, difficult though it is, does not express a POV claim which we should not be making. Tb (talk) 06:12, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

""We must find a term which, difficult though it is, does not express a POV claim which we should not be making."

Plain and simply, some subjects have absolutely no neutral POV...its an pretend there is one, would be a POV claim in and of itself. Therefore, the final conclusion made regarding the Catholic Church terminology of that Wiki article.

"In this context, to remove it is insulting to the other churches, listed right there, who consider themselves equally catholic" ...

Well what you and many do not seem to understand that doing so is just as insulting to Catholics also listed right there. Bottom line is that you can not insult one without insulting another. Hence you must look at the historical meaning of the Catholic Church at the very least. That said, (just as you mentioned for Roman Catholic) you simply make a stance regardless of who it offends and make a choice which is most OBJECTIVE to history and/or least insultive at to Christians at large, not to denominations in general. Therefore, I suggest looking at the earliest Church fathers of the first four centuries of Christiandom and find the characteristics of that "Catholic" church and find which one is fundimentally identical to that Church. (Starting with Ignatius of Antiochs letter to the Smyrnaeans see ) Secondly, Catholic Christians make up over a billion Christians worldwide that is more than double of any other. Therefore by siding with the POV of non-Catholics which consider themselves equally catholic as well you are siding to not offend the grand miniority and instead offend a great many others. This is foolish, the context of this citation is simply the generic title of Christian denominations not what they consider themselves individually, it is a simple diagram of world 'denominations'! Lastly, saying Catholics are Roman is quite disingenuous to millions of non-Latin(Roman) Easterners, but certainly 100% Catholic.

So whether you recognize it or not you are claiming POV statements, regardless of how you try to avoid it. You are the one making claims when you look into this so miopically, trying to find the non-existing NPOV, not realizing this is simply a citation pointing out to Church titles in a generic sense. To make this more than that is taking its point out of context, and attempting to pretend there is NPOV, which does not exist and simultaneously insulting millions of Catholics, interestingly making a POV by trying to avoid it! Micael (talk) 11:57, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia's policies do not have an escape clause for cases where editors think that no NPOV article is possible. If you have a better neutral term to suggest, please do so, but "Catholic Church", in this context, is not one. The claim of offense is a bit obviated by the existence of churches which announce themselves, in words carved into stone several feet high, to be "Roman Catholic". Tb (talk) 17:24, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

For the sake of clarification: I am discussing the diagram-template listed as "Major Branches within Christianity"..;

...Tb, the mere existence of a relative few churches considering themselves catholic does not remove the reality that there are objective facts involved historically and substantially...otherwise you water down the very essence of an encyclopedia. The bottom line is that there are acceptable general understandings as well as, objective, FACTUAL-historical ones. The point is that some things are applicable by more than mere subjective considerations. It is with such an understanding that Wikipedia (and the majority of worldwide encyclopedias) has accepted for the Catholic Church to call itself simply the "Catholic Church" as it is the most historical and objective TITLE for such a church, not to mention it truly is the most common title for the Church itself.(are you going to deny that the Wiki article for the Church appears as simply Catholic Church?) Also, the mere existence of churches that consider themselves catholic certainly DOES NOT obviate discussion of the issue. It's the equal of saying that multiple political parties disagree yet those parties that disagree represent a grand minority of the people. That is exactly what you are doing. Catholics represent over 1 billion of the world's Christians and call themselves as such. While on the other hand while there may exist a few that consider themselves catholic yet may or may not even entitle themselves as such, it is none-the-less but a miniscule minority ill representative of the Christian consensus. Thus, to say there is a mere existence.. of other parties/churches..., is an insincere alibi for providing a false-neutral POV in the name of appeasing a limited few while insulting the grand majority of over 1 billion Christians that proclaim themselves as members of what is ENTITLED globally and historically as simply the Catholic Church, besides the great many non-Catholics which accept and are not offended by Catholics calling their Church as such. I'm not even addressing the exaggerative preeminence of subjective opinionated views above historical objective evidence.

However, all this is well beyond the context of this citation. The citation is merely showing a generic breakdown (in large part) of the major Christian denominations and they are reflected and compared to from a historical perspective. It speaks of these churches as they are entitled, not merely what they consider themselves subjectively- but a TITULAR historical/objective context. Otherwise, why the dotted line for the Restorationalist, no objective evidence, only claimed evidence. That said, I'm simply saying; Wikipedia and this citation should be consistent...1) if Wikipedia has, for the church described here as Roman Catholic is not named in such a manner in its article for the very church being discussed then it should be corrected. (an article is certainly more impacting that a mere visual image/table- therefore, why your intransigence?) 2) It is very much incorrect to call Eastern Catholic churches, Roman. The Roman or Latin church has always been understood as "the West”, hence the oxymoronic connotation to say Eastern Catholic Church, of the Roman Catholic Church. NO, it’s the Eastern and Latin/Roman churches, of the CATHOLIC Church. Micael (talk) 09:40, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

If you are arguing about the image, please take the discussion there, and not here. Tb (talk) 21:27, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Updated the Diagram to reflect 2013 realities Qurbono (talk) 17:54, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Church of the East[edit]

There needs to be a separate section on this article entitled "Church of the East". It should include the Assyrian Church of the East (which is currently listed incorrectly in the "Catholic" section), and the Ancient Church of the East, which split off from the Assyrian Church in the 1960s. --Elonka 17:08, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Can you explain why it's incorrect? It fits the definition, and follows the ancient church order (episcopal succession, etc) which the term refers to in this context. I agree that the Ancient Church of the East needs mention. Tb (talk) 18:37, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
To my knowledge, the Assyrian Church of the East is not connected with the Catholic church. Do you have a source which says otherwise? --Elonka 19:13, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
No, but the usage here is not about being part of the Catholic Church in union with the Bishop of Rome; it's about what it says in the text: churches which claim continuity (based upon Apostolic Succession) with the church before separation into Greek or Eastern and Latin or Western. Tb (talk) 19:22, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
By that definition, everything on the page should be "Catholic", including the Anglican and Protestant sections. What I'm saying, is that it is not proper to put the Assyrian Church of the East as a subheading within "Catholicism". They've had huge messy schisms over precisely that question. For example, in the 16th century, the group in the Church of the East that wanted to rejoin with Rome, split off and became the Chaldean Catholic Church, making it brutally clear that the Assyrian Church of the East is not Catholic. Heck, look also at the diagram on this page, which clearly shows the Church of the East being one of the first to split off from the main line, in 431. It is not correct to put the Assyrian Church of the East in the "Catholic" section. --Elonka 21:32, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
No. The Presbyterians do not claim continuity based on Apostolic Succession. You are showing that it's not in union with Rome. The Church of Greece is also not Catholic in the sense of being in union with Rome. What you're missing is that Catholic in that section is not about union with Rome. The Anglican section used to be in Catholic; it was separated because some were concerned that it should be visually a via media. But the Presbyterians or the Baptists are not Catholic by the definition given. (And I believe the Assyrian Church of the East would not agree that it has "split off from the main line", but rather the reverse.) Tb (talk) 22:52, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Ahhh, I see, we're using two entirely different definitions of the word "Catholic". Okay, so to avoid confusion, how about changing the section header, from "Catholic" to "Apostolic succession"? --Elonka 23:47, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
I think the existing header is clear, especially if one reads it. It matches definition 2 and 3 of the list of definitions at Catholicism, and while it may be unfamiliar to you, it is not wildly uncommon. Tb (talk) 23:48, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm willing to work with you towards consensus on this... Can you point me at a source which uses the term "Catholic" in reference to the Assyrian Church of the East? I've read several, and the term "Apostolic succession" is pretty common, but I haven't run across any that refer to the Church as Catholic, possibly because of the confusion between the definitions of the term. --Elonka 00:12, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

It's an odd place, but [1] came up fairly quickly. Kind of a creepy source, but it would be interesting to see. See as well the Product Description of [2]. Or the last paragraph of [3]. And of course, there is its official name: the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East. Now, "Orthodox"--there's a word the Assyrian Church of the East rejects faster than, well, some appropriate simile. Tb (talk) 01:07, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I agree with all of Tb's points here. If we were to move the ACE, then we would also have to move the EOC, the OOC, and so on. Deusveritasest (talk) 02:23, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Tb: Okay, you got me there on the title. I'll freely admit confusion on this point, since it appears that both "The ACE is Catholic" and "The ACE is not Catholic" are true, depending on which definition of the word "Catholic" is used. Ugh. I've run into similar problems on some other religion articles, trying to straighten out "orthodox" and "Orthodox" (sigh). In any case, I am willing to bow to the term "Catholic" on this, even though I think it's confusing and wish we could find something more specific. Meanwhile, please add a listing for Ancient Church of the East? Best, --Elonka 04:21, 9 February 2010 (UTC)


I think Anglicanism should be moved back to the Catholic section. The point was made that it is equally identified as Protestant. But that is not true. Not all Anglican theologians have agreed that their church is Catholic. The general formula that was agreed upon was "Reformed and Catholic", not "Protestant and Catholic". Seeing as how the Anglican Communion has generally been self-identified as Catholic, but only by some as Protestant, I think it is clear that it belongs in the Catholic section. Deusveritasest (talk) 02:26, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I have no quarrel with this, naturally. Tb (talk) 03:06, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
There have been no disagreements for two months; I'm making the change. Tb (talk) 18:46, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Reformed means protestant. This is fucking ridiculous. john k (talk) 21:59, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Obviously with your brilliant knowledge, and a vocabulary as large as yours, you are a true doctrinal expert on protestantism. I cannot imagine why anyone would even doubt your word. Clearly Time Magazine should have spoken to you before they published this. Poor John, if only they would just listen. MagnoliaSouth (talk) 02:06, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

"the ________ considers itself..."[edit]

Am I the only one who finds these little tidbits at the end of various sections totally unnecessary? Deusveritasest (talk) 04:33, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm kind of ambivalent. For some of them it's a key part of what they understand Catholic identity to mean, but then, it's not clear that means it should be there. Those tags have been there for as long as I've been involved with the page, IIRC. Tb (talk) 04:40, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
The history is interesting. On March 4, 2007, User:Lima bean of the north added the sentence, "The Catholic Church does not consider itself a denomination", at the same time as he was fixing the Eastern Catholic Churches to be together with the Western [4]. Then User:Dylanschrader changed it to say "The Catholic Church considers itself the one Church that Christ founded." And naturally, the Orthodox jurisdictions needed the same. And, then, the Anglicans needed a statement of something like the "branch theory" of the same. Neither of these users has been very active. I doubt there is a strong constituency for retaining it. Tb (talk) 04:51, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
That's the same exact reason why "Eastern Orthodox Church" was changed to "Orthodox Church". The RC's push their POV and establish changes that indicate their supremacy, and all the other Catholic traditions wind up feeling outraged and pressured to respond in kind. It's getting rather tiresome. :( Deusveritasest (talk) 05:22, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
It's been going on for rather a while. :) Tb (talk) 06:01, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Mar Thoma Church[edit]

This church is missing from the list. Sarcelles (talk) 16:00, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

It is listed under "United and uniting churches". Tb (talk) 18:22, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
But "United and uniting churches" belongs to Protestant. Sarcelles (talk) 18:58, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
It's a problem, because the CSI, CNI, etc., are all part of the Anglican communion as well. Tb (talk) 20:57, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

But Mar Thoma Church is in communion with other churches also, not only with Anglicans. This Church has nothing to do with "United and uniting churches". Probably someone who is ignorant of the history, traditions and teachings of this Church wants it there, so it is there.Neduvelilmathew (talk) 15:05, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Who else do you have in mind that the Mar Thomites are supposedly in communion with? Deusveritasest (talk) 19:09, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

The Mar Thoma sect is a split from the Oriental Orthodox Church in India, with protestant doctrine.Qurbono (talk) 17:28, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Latter Day Saints[edit]

Why are the Latter Day Saints given a sub-section as if the movement is as large or influential as "Catholicism" or "Protestantism"? Wouldn't they belong in "non-trinitarian groups" or under a "restorationist" sub-section? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:55, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

What makes you think the sections are rankings of importance? The LDS consider themselves to be Trinitarian, but many others do not consider them to be so. For that reason putting them under either Non-Trinitarian or Restorationism would each take one side or the other in that POV dispute. Tb (talk) 17:39, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Since when do the LDS consider themselves Trinitarian? They never have accepted the doctrine of the trinity, nor do they advocate it today. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:38, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
If anything, they are closer to tritheism than orthodox trinitarianism. That's for the main LDS church. Some of the smaller groups do seem to accept orthodox trinitarianism. Tb (talk) 19:44, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Please consider the fact that they are simply not Christian at all. Abrahamic rooted-ish, however not "Christian". See : Jew = Torah / Christian = Bible / Mormon = Book of Mormon / Jew = Jehovah / Christian = Jesus / Mormon = Kolob, 'Adam god' & Smith. Msqared80 (talk) 18:15, 12 June 2015 (UTC) [1] [2]

See Christian primitivism. --NeilN talk to me 20:47, 2 July 2015 (UTC)


Including Anglicanism in Catholicism is ridiculous and outrageous. Having it as its own section is bad enough; including it in Catholicism is completely indefensible, and blatant POV-pushing. john k (talk) 22:01, 27 October 2010 (UTC)


Almost every book or encyclopedia that I've read breaks the Christian denominations into three major groups; Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox. Even the Christianity template on Wikipedia shows those three plus Nontrinitarian. Why is Orthodox part of Catholic here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:38, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Shouldn't the Roman Catholic Church be a single denomination?[edit]

The Latin Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches are all under the authority of the Pope. So doesn't that make them one denomination with varied rites, as opposed to 23 different denominations? (talk) 02:56, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

As all of them treat themselves as a special group apart from other denominations it is probably best to leave it as is. (talk) 16:45, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Christian Atheism[edit]

I looked through this whole list, but I did not find Christian Atheism (I prefer to call it "Atheistic Christianity", but that's just me). Is there a reason it is not here? Did I miss it? Where would it go if we were to add it? (talk) 15:52, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

This list specific Christian denominations, not variations of Atheism. (talk) 16:52, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Christian Missionary Alliance[edit]

Noticed this myself. Is there any reason the Christian Missionary Alliance is listed twice. It is both under "Pietists and Holiness Churches" and "Miscellaneous/Other". Unless I'm mistaken and there are two denominations with the same name, I'd say one of these doesn't need to be there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:38, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Iagree. The C&MA should be listed as a Holiness Church since it's roots are in the Deeper Life Movement. I recommend it be removed from Misc/Other. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Srvfan84 (talkcontribs) 18:42, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Please note[edit]

There's really no reason to add "Please note" to the page, it adds nothing to the text. The text is there so people will note it, see WP:EDITORIALIZING for a similar case. Mark Arsten (talk) 03:24, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

I agree; should these ideas be incorporated into the article or removed wholesale? --ProfPolySci45 (talk) 00:07, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Universalism is not Christian[edit]

Universalism is a completely separate religion. Why is it listed as a denomination as Christianity? (talk) 03:36, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Catholic Church's def of true church[edit]

I don't see the relevance of the Catholic church's opinion on the true church in the lead. --JFHutson (talk) 04:07, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

You're right, so I removed it. Editor2020 (talk) 04:55, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Methodists are Anglican, not general protestants.[edit]

Methodism is a splinter of Anglicanism (which is a splinter of the Catholic church). If the definition of a protestant is a reformed church, then Anglicans and Methodists would be protestant, but if the definition of protestantism is Calvinist, Lutheran, etc., then neither Methodists nor Anglicans are protestants. There is much confusion about defining these two denominations, but the key point I make here is that Methodism is very Anglican, more so than anything else. It is so similar that there are even some churches working on uniting the two. Also, theology is nearly identical. There are only a few differences, mostly in general ceremony (e.g., weekly communion vs monthly) and titles. MagnoliaSouth (talk) 01:50, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Why was Lord's New Church Which Is Nova Hierosolyma removed from under the header Swedenborgianism?[edit]

I was trying to find this group (Lord's New Church Which Is Nova Hierosolyma) and was having the hardest time remembering it, I had first Heard of them from this section, so it was kind of stressful to go back and see that it was no longer there, which made me have to do some extra work to remember their name. Is there a reason this group has been removed from the list? they still have an artical on the website but no link from this list now. Anthony maybury (talk) 09:43, 11 March 2013 (UTC)


Because this image is grossly historically inaccurate, even according to the pages linked for the content; because it creates conflict, thereby, with linked pages; because it is completely unnecessary to the content of this page. It should remain removed until consensus is reached. Wikipedia looks pretty stupid keeping this image up. People are laughing at us on message boards thanks to this image. That's where I found it. Shame on whoever originally posted it. --Wiki Comic Relief (talk) 14:05, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

With this edit the image File:Christianity-Branches-2013update.png was removed. I object to its removal, as it is informative and part of a series of images which illustrates the divisions in the history of Christianity. It balances the other image included in this article, which only illustrates Protestantism. It is particularly difficult to follow this timeline without a visual aid. It meets WP:PERTINENCE and is a freely licensed image. Please justify the reason for removal, and explain why it is historically inaccurate, with examples. Elizium23 (talk) 14:08, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Coordinating your editing on sites outside Wikipedia is forbidden and I have placed a warning on your user talk page. Elizium23 (talk) 14:14, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
There is no coordinating from outside sites. I don't know where you would get that from. What I said was that I found out about this image from two messages boards that were basically using it as a laughing point to talk about how unreliable Wikipedia is.
I think the use of an image is important, but that image has to be (1) historically accurate, which then makes it useful to the content; and (2) not be in conflict with pages that are linked from this page. In the instant case, the aforementioned image is historically inaccurate, even according to pages liked from here - thereby bringing it into conflict with them. It's comparable to the page of US Presidents saying that G. W. Bush died, and the other page saying that he hasn't died. Which page is correct?
A better image would be one that does not argue a theological position, which this one clearly does, but, rather, simply uses the claimed date or origin of the organizations to provide a visual that enhances the content, rather than bring it into conflict. --Wiki Comic Relief (talk) 13:47, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
For example, the current image is in direct conflict with this linked page Catholic_Church, which says that since at least by 110 C.E. one Church has called itself Catholic and after the East-West Schism the Churches in union with Rome continue to call themselves Catholic. Therefore, a proper image would have one unbroken line that starts from the at least the 2nd Century and continue, with other groups breaking off from it. The current image is not unbiased historical - it is biased theological. --Wiki Comic Relief (talk) 14:06, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Removed unsourced map[edit]

Obvious incorrect map, for example for distribution of religion for USA , refer . Many other mistakes but main reason , no reliable source provided. Grsd (talk) 22:45, 29 March 2014 (UTC)


Jehovah witnesses are Christians and they have been left off the list — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:55, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

UU national organizations do not consider themselves to be Christian groups.[edit]

Unitarian Universalist (UU) national organizations such as the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Canadian Unitarian Council do not consider themselves to be Christian groups, but a minority of their members are Christian (mostly of the Unitarianism and Christian Universalism varieties). But national organizations for Unitarians (such as the American Unitarian Conference and Christian Universalists (such as the Christian Universalist Association) do consider themselves to be Christian groups. The confusion is cussed by the fact that UU national organizations have been founded by the coming together of groups that began as Unitarian and Christian Universalist respectively. And as a result one can not tell by the name of one of these groups, example the Canadian Unitarian Council, if they are UU or Christian of either the Unitarian or Christian Universalist varieties. What I am asking is, as this is a list of Christian denominations, should UU groups by listed here? I think not. But I am looking to gain some consensus before I begin to be bold again, as I have already been reverted once after having bold on this topic. Thoughts? --Devin Murphy (talk) 20:36, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

Every Christian group of this kind should be mentioned, as Christian Universalists & Unitarians are significant in the U.S. You can use brackets to note something or clarify. I don't see a problem here.Ernio48 (talk) 23:43, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland[edit]

Listed twice (talk) 18:33, 6 February 2016 (UTC)david park 20160206

Where to put Remonstrant[edit]

Remonstrants are currently not listed. It is not easy to place them. In their ways they share much with the Pentecost movement but are not member of a Pentecost organization and are much older. Their belief is based on the Reformed teachings of Jacobus Arminius. This got them expelled from the Reformed churches in the Synod of Dort. They are still a (small) church within the Netherlands. Formally it makes sense to add them to the reformed list like the Huguenots; but the Remonstrants where actively kicked out. What do you think? Arnoutf (talk) 21:26, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^