Religion in North America (Vandverse)

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Christianity[edit | edit source]

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers.

Protestantism[edit | edit source]

Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone (sola fide) rather than also by good works, and the highest authority of the Bible alone (rather than also with sacred tradition) in faith and morals (sola scriptura). The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church.

Anabaptism[edit | edit source]

Anabaptism (from Neo-Latin anabaptista, from the Greek ἀναβαπτισμός: ἀνά- "re-" and βαπτισμός "baptism", German: Täufer, earlier also Wiedertäufer) is a Christian movement which traces its origins to the Radical Reformation. The movement is generally seen as an offshoot of Protestantism, although this view has been challenged by some Anabaptists. The early Anabaptists formulated their beliefs in the Schleitheim Confession, in 1527. Anabaptists believe that baptism is valid only when the candidate confesses his or her faith in Christ and wants to be baptized. This believer's baptism is opposed to baptism of infants, who are not able to make a conscious decision to be baptized. Anabaptists are those who are in a traditional line with the early Anabaptists of the 16th century.

Batenburger[edit | edit source]

Also known as the Zwaardgeesten (sword-minded) Anabaptists by other sects, the Batenburgers are a group founded in the Netherlands by Jan van Batenburg in the 1530s. The sect grew out of and absorbed the earlier radical sect responsible for the Münster Rebellion. Unlike most Anabaptist sects, the Batenburgers practice violence against heretics and mass conversion, as well as other unique practices such as polygamy.

Mainstream[edit | edit source]

Mainstream Anabaptism refers to the churches formed in the 1500s in the Netherlands and surrounding areas, which were loosely united into one doctrine, distinct from other breakaway Anabaptist denominations. Melchior Hoffman is credited with the introduction of Anabaptist ideas into the Low Countries, where it later spread into nations such as Frisia. Theologians such as Dirk Philips, David Joris, and Claus Frey, who served as members of a council of Frisian communities, are credited with unifying the movement into a chiefly Frisian, unified church. Hoffman was re-baptized on 23 April 1527 Strasbourg, beginning the Anabaptist movement in northern Europe.

Mennonites[edit | edit source]

Mennonites are an Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Frisia. Through his writings, Simons articulated and formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders. The early teachings of the Mennonites were founded on the belief in both the mission and ministry of Jesus, which the original Anabaptist followers held to with great conviction despite persecution by the various Roman Catholic and Protestant states. An early set of Mennonite beliefs was codified in the Dordrecht Confession of Faith in 1632, but the various groups do not hold to a common confession or creed. Rather than fight, the majority of these followers survived by fleeing to neighboring states where ruling families were tolerant of their belief in believer's baptism.

Anglicanism[edit | edit source]

Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition which has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called "Anglicans". The majority of Anglicans are members of national or regional ecclesiastical provinces of the international Anglican Communion, which forms the third-largest Christian communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. They are in full communion with the See of Canterbury, and thus the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom the communion refers to as its primus inter pares (Latin, "first among equals"). He calls the decennial Lambeth Conference, chairs the meeting of primates, and is the president of the Anglican Consultative Council.

Some churches that are not part of the Anglican Communion or recognized by the Anglican Communion also call themselves Anglican, including those that are part of the Continuing Anglican movement and Anglican realignment. After the American Revolution, Anglican congregations in the United States and British North America (which would later form the basis for the modern country of Canada) were each reconstituted into autonomous churches with their own bishops and self-governing structures; these were known as the American Episcopal Church and the Church of England in the Dominion of Canada.

Episcopal Church[edit | edit source]

The Episcopal Church (TEC) is a member church of the worldwide Anglican Communion based in the United States. The church was organized after the American Revolution, when it became separate from the Church of England, whose clergy are required to swear allegiance to the British monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The Episcopal Church describes itself as "Protestant, yet Catholic". The Episcopal Church claims apostolic succession, tracing its bishops back to the apostles via holy orders. The Book of Common Prayer, a collection of traditional rites, blessings, liturgies, and prayers used throughout the Anglican Communion, is central to Episcopal worship.

Modern Restorationism[edit | edit source]

The Restoration Movement (also known as the American Restoration Movement or the Stone-Campbell Movement, and pejoratively as Campbellism) is a Christian movement that began on the United States frontier during the Second Great Awakening (1790–1840) of the early 19th century. The pioneers of this movement were seeking to reform the church from within and sought "the unification of all Christians in a single body patterned after the church of the New Testament." Especially since the mid-20th century, members of these churches do not identify as Protestant but simply as Christian.

Adventism[edit | edit source]

Adventism is a branch of Christianity which was started in the United States during the Second Great Awakening when Baptist preacher William Miller first publicly shared his belief that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ would occur at some point between 1843 and 1844. The name refers to belief in the imminent Second Coming (or "Second Advent") of Jesus Christ. William Miller started the Adventist movement in the 1830s, and his followers became known as Millerites. After the Great Disappointment, the Millerite movement split up and was continued by a number of groups that held different doctrines from one another. These groups, stemming from a common Millerite ancestor, became known collectively as the Adventist movement.

Although the Adventist churches hold much in common, their theologies differ on whether the intermediate state of the dead is unconscious sleep or consciousness, whether the ultimate punishment of the wicked is annihilation or eternal torment, the nature of immortality, whether the wicked are resurrected after the millennium, and whether the sanctuary of Daniel 8 refers to the one in heaven or one on earth. The movement has encouraged the examination of the whole Bible, leading Seventh-day Adventists and some smaller Adventist groups to observe the Sabbath. The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has compiled that church's core beliefs in the 28 Fundamental Beliefs (1980 and 2005), which use Biblical references as justification.

Branch Davidians[edit | edit source]

The Branch Davidians (also known as The Branch) are a religious group that originated in 1955 from a schism among the Shepherd's Rod/Davidians, an American offshoot of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Millerism[edit | edit source]

The Millerites were the followers of the teachings of William Miller, who in 1833 first shared publicly his belief that the Second Advent of Jesus Christ would occur in roughly the year 1843–1844. Coming during the Second Great Awakening, his beliefs were taken as predictions, spread widely, and were believed by many, leading to the Great Disappointment.

Seventh-day Adventist[edit | edit source]

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Christian denomination which is distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the seventh day of the week in Christian and Jewish calendars, as the Sabbath, and its emphasis on the imminent Second Coming (advent) of Jesus Christ. The denomination grew out of the Millerite movement in the United States during the mid-19th century and it was formally established in 1863. Among its founders was Ellen G. White, whose extensive writings are still held in high regard by the church.

Christ Community (Zionite)[edit | edit source]

The Christ Community Church is a Christian sect centered around Zion, Illinois, formerly known as the Christian Catholic Church or Christian Catholic Apostolic Church. The church is an evangelical, non-denominational church founded by John Alexander Dowie. The city of Zion was founded by Dowie as a religious community to establish a society on the principles of the Kingdom of God. Members are sometimes called Zionites (not to be confused with the German Zionites).

Over the years there have been many changes to the church founded by John Alexander Dowie. He was a popular faith healer and started the church and the Zion community with utopian ideals. Under Wilbur Glenn Voliva, Dowie's successor, the church was noted for its adherence to a flat earth cosmology. Because of Dowie's emphasis on faith healing and restorationism the church is considered a forerunner of Pentecostalism.

Jehovah's Witnesses[edit | edit source]

Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. Jehovah's Witnesses are directed by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders in Warwick, New York, which establishes all doctrines based on its interpretations of the Bible. They believe that the destruction of the present world system at Armageddon is imminent, and that the establishment of God's kingdom over the earth is the only solution for all problems faced by humanity.

Latter Day Saints[edit | edit source]

The Latter Day Saint movement (also called the LDS movement or the LDS restorationist movement) is a collection of independent church groups that trace their origins to a Christian primitivist movement founded by Joseph Smith in the late 1820s. The vast majority of these groups belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The predominant theology of the churches in the movement is Mormonism, a form of Christianity usually categorized as Restorationist. A minority of Latter Day Saint adherents, such as members of the Community of Christ, believe in traditional Protestant theology, and have distanced themselves from some of the distinctive doctrines of the LDS Church.

Native American[edit | edit source]

Native American religions are the spiritual practices of indigenous peoples of the Americas, prior to contact with Europeans. Across the continent many tribes held their own individual beliefs and religious practices, which were monotheistic, polytheistic, henotheistic, animistic, shamanistic, pantheistic or any combination thereof, among others. Traditional beliefs are usually passed down in the forms of oral histories, stories, allegories, and principles, and rely on face to face teaching in one's family and community.

Southwestern[edit | edit source]

Puebloan[edit | edit source]

Navajo[edit | edit source]

Californian[edit | edit source]

Kuksu[edit | edit source]