This list is Sourced from the Encylopaedia Britannica, Wikipedia, Beliefnet, and Adherents.com (a collection of 43,870 adherent statistics and religious geography citations). The list is based on number of members. For a complete list (which also includes atheism and agnosticism, see the Wikipedia article or the Encylopaedia Britannica chart).
Christianity is a monotheistic religion which is based on the teachings of the Old Testament and Jesus of Nazareth. Christians believe that Jesus, as the Son of God is part of the Trinity (God as three persons in one), the others being God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Christians believe that Christianity fulfils Judaism. Most Christians believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus to be the cornerstone of their faith. Protestant offshoots of Christianity believe that salvation comes from the belief in God alone, whereas Catholic and Orthodox Christians believe that faith, combined with good works is required for salvation.
The Christian scriptures are called the Bible – comprising two books, the Old Testament (based on the Septuagint) and the New Testament. Protestants and Catholics have the same books in the New Testament, but Martin Luther removed 7 books from the Old Testament during the Protestant reformation, considering them to be apocryphal. He also removed four books from the New Testament but was later persuaded to put them back – they were Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation.
Christians believe in Sacraments (Catholics and Orthodox and some Anglicans believe in 7: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion, Confession, Last Rites, Holy Orders, and Matrimony; some Protestants (following Martin Luther) believe in the sacramental nature of Baptism and Holy Communion, while others reject outright the concept of sacramental theology.
Christianity is generally broken into three branches: Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. Catholicism is the largest with over 1 billion adherents. The Orthodox and Catholic Churches split in the 11th century in an event called the Great Schism. Protestantism split from Roman Catholicism in in the 16th century in an event called the Protestant Reformation.
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