Did you know that Christianity is almost two thousand years old? After the Jesus of the Bible died and ascended in the resurrection, the apostles and followers founded the very first Christian church. 

Though all of Christianity derives from the belief in God and Jesus, there are many different types of Christians and sects of the church. These main sects are Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, and Protestantism.

Would you like to learn more about the history of Christianity and the different Christian religions? Here is a brief guide to the three major churches of Christianity.

The Catholic Church

Catholicism is the most populous branch of Christianity. Based out of the Vatican, it is a small area outside of Rome that houses the major clergy and the Pope.

The Catholic Church plays a major role in the history of Christianity. Overall, almost 20 percent of the world’s population identifies as Catholic.

Catholics have a distinct hierarchy in the church, ranging from priests to cardinals. The Pope is at the top of the hierarchy, considered the leader of the church.

In Catholicism, there is also more of a focus on Mary and saints, rather than Jesus Christ and God.

Orthodox Christianity

Commonly known as Greek Orthodox, the Orthodox Christian church is the second-largest sect in the world, after Catholicism. It takes its cultural roots from Greek, Slav, and Russian traditions.

The Eastern Orthodox Church focuses more on the Holy Spirit and its presence in the body of the church, or the congregation.

Both the Orthodox and the Catholic churches formed in an event called the Great Schism. This occurred around 800 years after the founding of the church with a major split in belief systems.

Similar to the Protestant Church, Orthodox Christianity has no hierarchy or major governing body.


Protestantism is the youngest of the Christian religions. It was founded by Martin Luther in 1517 through a series of events called the Protestant Reformation.

Martin Luther objected to many of the principles of the Catholic Church, so he decided to form another Christian denomination. However, Protestanism has further split into hundreds of different denominations based on the same basic idea.

Some of the main denominations of the Protestant church include:

  • Episcopalian
  • Lutheran
  • Wesleyan
  • Methodist
  • Baptist

In the past few decades, a different sect of Protestantism has grown in popularity called nondenominational. These tend to be more modern churches with progressive values that do not identify with any formal denomination of the church.

Unlike other Christian religions, Protestantism does not have a formal hierarchy. Individual churches may have leaders such as pastors and people who run small group ministries, such as Five Fold Ministry: https://www.soh.church/five-fold-ministry/.

Learn About the Types of Christians

Whether you are a Christian or you are interested in joining the church, you should definitely learn about all types of Christians. With this guide, you can make an informed decision and explore your options.

Want to learn more about how you can grow spiritually? Check out our site for more ideas and inspiration to bring yourself to the next level.