The Baptists are one of the largest Christian denominations. As indicated by their name, the primary Baptist distinctive is their practice of "believer's baptism" instead of infant baptism. Baptist churches tend to be evangelical in doctrine and Reformed in worship, but beliefs and practices can vary due to the autonomy of individual Baptist churches.
Historically, Baptists have played a key role in encouraging religious freedom and separation of church and state. In the United States, the two largest Baptist organizations are the Southern Baptist Churches (SBC) and American Baptist Churches (ABC), with the former being the more conservative branch. Notable Baptists have included Martin Luther King, Jr., Charles Spurgeon, John Bunyan and Billy Graham.
At the turn of the 21st century, there were about 43 million Baptists worldwide with about 33 million of those in the United States and 216,000 in Britain. There are over 850,000 Baptists in South America and 230,000 in Central America and the Caribbean.
- "Baptists." F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford UP, 1997), pp. 154-55.
- "Baptist." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 2005. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptist>.
- "Baptist." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2005. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service <http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?tocId=9109450>.
Baptist Doctrinal Statements
- Doctrinal Statement of American Baptist Association
- Doctrinal Statement of Baptist Missionary Association of America
- Basic Beliefs of Southern Baptist Convention
Other Baptist Links
- Alliance of Baptists
- American Baptist Churches USA
- American Baptist Historical Society
- Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec
- Baptist Missionary Association of American Missions Department
- Baptist Union of Great Britain
- Baptist World Alliance
- Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
- Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada
- General Association of Regular Baptist Churches
- Mainstream Baptist Network
- National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
- Seventh Day Baptist General Conference
- Southern Baptist Convention
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