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Individual Christian denominations,
from the Amish to The Way

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Which faith groups are Christian?

Some Christians commit a great deal of energy debating precisely which of the 1,000 or so North American faith groups are Christian and which are either sub-Christian, quasi-Christian, non-Christian or even anti-Chrisitan. There are probably hundreds of lists of "valid" Christian denominations in existence -- all different.

This web site uses a very simple, inclusive description of Christianity. We define as Christian any faith group or individual that sincerely, thoughtfully, seriously, and prayerfully regards themselves to be Christian. We consider faith groups as diverse as the 1st century CE Jewish Christians under the leadership of James, Gnostic Christians ancient and modern, Eastern Orthodox church members. Roman Catholics, United Church members, Mormons, Unificationists, Jehovah's Witnesses and followers of hundreds of other faith groups to be Christian. We recognize that some groups and individuals have a much more restrictive definition of "Christian." In fact, we receive a lot of complaint E-mails on this very topic.

Another question that surfaces from time to time is which of the many denominations is the "true church." No resolution to that question appears to be possible. Many Christian denominations regard themselves to be the only "true" church, and view the other churches as partly or completely in error. Unfortunately, it does not appear to be possible to assess the will of God on this and other matters.

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Divisions within Christianity:

In its earliest years, the Christian religion was divided into many different religious movements of which three groups: the Gnostic Christians, Jewish Christians, and Pauline Christians were the largest. The first almost disappeared. The second did disappear. Almost all current Christian groups trace their lineage back to the Pauline Christian movement.

Today, there are many ways of classifying the over 1,000 Christian faith groups in North America:

bulletInto three to eight meta-groups (e.g. Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican),

bulletBy "wing" (e.g. conservative, mainline, and liberal),

bulletBy theological belief system (Calvinism, Arminianism, etc.)

bulletBy religious family, (Baptist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, etc.), and

bullet By individual denomination.

Some individual denominations are listed below.

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star Some individual denominations are:

bulletThe Amish

bulletThe Brethren

bulletCatholic Church (Roman Catholic)

bulletChildren of God


bulletChristian Science

bulletThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)

bulletEastern Orthodox churches

bulletThe Family (David Berg), (a.k.a. Family of Love)

bulletFundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

bullet Polygynists in Bountiful, British Columbia, Canada

bulletThe "Garbage Eaters": common derogatory name for The Brethren


bulletJehovah's Witnesses

bulletLDS Restorationists: a group of denominations who link their history to Joseph Smith's church

bulletMessianic Judaism & "Jews for Jesus"

bulletMormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

bulletOrthodox churches

bulletThe Process

bulletProgressive Christianity

bulletQuakers (Society of Friends)

bulletReorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: Now called the Community of Christ

bulletRoman Catholic Church

bulletSeventh-Day Adventist Church

bulletSociety of Friends (Quakers)

bulletTwo by Twos ("The Jesus Way", "The Church with no Name", etc)

bulletUnification Church

bulletUnitarian-Universalism (About 10% of UU members consider themselves to be Christian)

bulletUnited Pentecostal Church International

bulletUnity Church in Canada

bulletUnity School of Christianity

bulletUrantia Book

bullet Worldwide Church of God

bulletThe Way International

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Related information on this web site:

bulletReligious information menu: world data, North American data, religious holy days, etc. 

bulletReligious self-identification in the U.S.

bulletSize of various Christian faith groups

bulletRestorationists: a group of Christian denominations who believe that Christianity went astray early in its history. They believe that they have restored Christianity to its original form.

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Site navigation:

 Home > ChristianityGroups of denominations > here

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Latest update: 2012-AUG-24

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