Just the facts on religion.


To be anathema (Greek, "suspended") means to be condemned or cut off from the church.

The word is used in Galatians 1:8 and I Corinthians 16:22 to denote separation from the Christian community, and it was often used in the conclusion of creeds to condemn those who held incorrect beliefs; e.g., "If anyone should say that ... let him be anathema."

The earliest recorded instance of formally anathemizing was at the Council of Elvira, c. 306 CE. Anathema is generally considered more serious than excommunication, which excludes a person from sacraments and worship but not the Christian community.