Protestantism and Its Many Denominations
The word “protestatio” was invoked in 1529, in reference to those princes that supported Martin Luther and spoke out against religious persecution. These royal supporters were eventually known as Protestants
, a name that spread to the vast number of religious denominations that sprang from the beliefs associated with the Reformation. This guide attempts to straighten out the differences among the sects, pinpoint their commonalities, indicate their historical foundations and show you how to connect with Protestants everywhere. Read a Spanish-language version of this Web Guide
A large part of the world, particularly the West, is very much a product of what happened almost ... read more »
Although the various denominations differ on many religious tenets, they do share similar Protestant foundations. The emphasis on faith over good works, the preeminence of the Scriptures and the use of only two sacraments are some of these shared features. Use the links below to learn more about Protestant beliefs and practices.
- Religion is a very personal experience. On the Internet, people attempt to encapsulate their own religion or someone else’s religion, and in so doing, they may be feeding you either incorrect or subjective information. Be sure to read a lot of sources and use your own best judgment.
- The rest of the sections in this guide explore some of the major Protestant denominations one by one, ordered by size, as estimated by statistics from the BBC and ReligionFacts. The most populous in the world are covered first.
- It’s debatable whether Mormonism is a Protestant denomination. It is often considered Restorationist, because Mormons believe their church is “restoring” Christianity to its original form before it fell into “apostasy.” To learn more about Mormonism, read findingDulcinea’s Mormonism Web Guide.
For an overview of Protestant beliefs …
outlines what Conservative Protestants believe. Find short explanations of beliefs on such topics as death and salvation. Beliefnet also explores Liberal Protestant beliefs.
Creeds of Christendom
isn’t well designed, but it is an excellent index of various creeds, or statements of faith, for almost all of the major Protestant sects. For the easiest navigation, use the categories on the left sidebar.
For general information about Protestant denominations …
contains an extensive list of Protestant denominations. It includes the larger sects as well as many of the less well-known ones.
For information about Protestant ceremonies …
offers an article on Catholic sacraments and Protestant ordinances. Learn why Protestants don't follow the seven sacraments practiced in Catholicism, what those sacraments consist of and what Protestants practice instead.
Grace Bible Church
examines the two ordinances of baptism and communion. Although the graphic design is lacking, the site goes into great detail about the history of the ordinances, the differences between them and Catholic sacraments, their purposes, their requirements and what they entail.
describes Protestant wedding traditions. Get details on vows, exchanging rings, unity candles and more.
For Protestant Bibles and religious writings …
University of Notre Dame
offers notes on the Bible in an outline format. Trace the history of the written Bible and see which versions of the Bible Protestants have used, as compared to Catholics.
is a powerful reference tool that provides access to many versions of the Bible in several languages. Use the “Quick search” tool to find a specific passage or to search for ones on a certain theme. The advanced search tool allows you more options, such as a quotation lookup.
Christian Classics Ethereal Library
has a substantial online archive of Christian writings. Go to the “Browse Library” section on the right side of the page to search by author, title, language and more.
The Pentecostal name is derived from the events described in the New Testament: On the Day of ... read more »
At 75 million members in the world, Presbyterianism is one of the most populous Protestant ... read more »
Episcopalianism is the strain of Anglicanism that developed in the United States. The ... read more »
Methodists care strongly about spreading the word of God’s kindness through missionary work ... read more »
Lutherans follow the beliefs of Martin Luther, stressing the important role that faith plays in ... read more »
Numbering about 40 million worldwide, Baptists make up a large Protestant denomination. One of the ... read more »
Seventh-day Adventists came from the millennialist Millerite movement in 19th-century America, and ... read more »
Anabaptists were those that sprang from the Radical Reformation, as compared to the Evangelical ... read more »
The Quakers, or the Religious Society of Friends, number about 210,000 throughout the world. ... read more »
Unitarian Universalism may not belong in the Protestant guide per se; it may not even fall fully ... read more »
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