Compare Christian Denominations

Similarities and Differences

Founded by Jesus Christ approximately 2,000 years ago, Christianity is one of the most influential religions in world history. Although this faith began as a small sect of Judaism during the first century in ancient Israel, Christianity has nearly 2 billion followers at the beginning of the 21st century and can be found in every corner of the globe.

The three major branches of Christianity are Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Eastern orthodoxy. There are similarities and differences between these three branches, and there are also similarities and differences between Protestant denominations. While there is a tremendous amount of similarity among various Christian groups, there are also uniqueness in beliefs, practices, and holidays.

So are Christian denominations just slight variations on the same theme, or are they so different that they are almost multiple religions? To explore this question, or just to figure out the difference is between a Presbyterian and Methodist, for example, consult the comparison charts listed below.

Comparisons of Christian denominations

Comparison of Facts & Stats

Compare basic facts on nine major Christian denominations, including origins, founders, number of adherents, locations, church bodies, membership in the World Council of Churches, and more.

Comparison of Beliefs

Compare the religious beliefs of nine major Christian denominations, including views on religious authority, God, human nature, angels, salvation, predestination, hell, and more.

Comparison of Practices

Compare the religious practices of nine major Christian denominations, including baptism, the Eucharist, church government, nature of the clergy, and more.

Comparison of Positions on Social and Ethical Issues

Compare the positions of nine major denominations on issues like abortion, euthanasia, birth control, death penalty, ordination of women, homosexuality, and same-sex marriage.

Comparison of Catholic and Protestant Theology

This chart provides a quick-reference guide to the major differences between Catholic and Protestant theology.