A Very Brief History
of the Christian Church

The first division within Christendom came in 1054 with the "Great Schism" between the Western Church and the Eastern Church. From that point forward, there were two large branches of Christianity, which came to be known as the Catholic Church (in the West) and the Orthodox Church (in the East).
The next major division occurred in the 16th century with the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation was famously sparked when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses in 1517, but "Protestantism" as a movement officially began in 1529.
As the Reformation developed in Germany, various groups in other parts of Europe also began to break away from the Catholic Church.

Reformed Christianity developed in Switzerland based on the teachings of Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin.

When it spread to Scotland under John Knox, the Reformed faith became Presbyterianism.

Switzerland was also the birthplace of the Anabaptists, spiritual ancestors of today's Amish, Mennonites, Quakers, and Baptists.

Anglicanism was established in 1534 when England's King Henry VIII broke from the authority of the Pope, and became Episcopalianism in America.

Methodism, based on the teachings of John Wesley, also has its roots in Anglicanism.

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