Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The group reports a worldwide membership of 8.58 million adherents involved in evangelism and an annual Memorial attendance of over 20 million. Jehovah's Witnesses are directed by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders in Warwick, New York, which establishes all doctrines based on its interpretations of the Bible, they believe that the destruction of the present world system at Armageddon is imminent, that the establishment of God's kingdom over the earth is the only solution for all problems faced by humanity. The group emerged from the Bible Student movement founded in the late 1870s by Charles Taze Russell, who co-founded Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society in 1881 to organize and print the movement's publications. A leadership dispute after Russell's death resulted in several groups breaking away, with Joseph Franklin Rutherford retaining control of the Watch Tower Society and its properties.
Rutherford made significant organizational and doctrinal changes, including adoption of the name Jehovah's witnesses in 1931 to distinguish them from other Bible Student groups and symbolize a break with the legacy of Russell's traditions. Jehovah's Witnesses are best known for their door-to-door preaching, distributing literature such as The Watchtower and Awake!, refusing military service and blood transfusions. They consider the use of God's name vital for proper worship, they reject Trinitarianism, inherent immortality of the soul, hellfire, which they consider to be unscriptural doctrines. They do not observe Christmas, birthdays or other holidays and customs they consider to have pagan origins incompatible with Christianity, they prefer to use their own Bible translation, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, although their literature quotes and cites other Bible translations. Adherents refer to their body of beliefs as "The Truth" and consider themselves to be "in the Truth".
They consider secular society to be morally corrupt and under the influence of Satan, most limit their social interaction with non-Witnesses. Congregational disciplinary actions include disfellowshipping, their term for formal expulsion and shunning. Baptized individuals who formally leave are considered disassociated and are shunned. Disfellowshipped and disassociated individuals may be reinstated if deemed repentant; the group's position regarding conscientious objection to military service and refusal to salute national flags has brought it into conflict with some governments. Some Jehovah's Witnesses have been persecuted and their activities are banned or restricted in some countries. Persistent legal challenges by Jehovah's Witnesses have influenced legislation related to civil rights in several countries; the organization has received criticism regarding biblical translation and alleged coercion of its members. The Watch Tower Society has made various unfulfilled predictions about major biblical events such as Christ's Second Coming, the advent of God's Kingdom, Armageddon.
Their policies for handling cases of child sexual abuse have been the subject of various formal inquiries. In 1870, Charles Taze Russell and others formed a group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to study the Bible. During the course of his ministry, Russell disputed many beliefs of mainstream Christianity including immortality of the soul, predestination, the fleshly return of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, the burning up of the world. In 1876, Russell met Nelson H. Barbour; the book taught that God's dealings with humanity were divided dispensationally, each ending with a "harvest," that Christ had returned as an invisible spirit being in 1874 inaugurating the "harvest of the Gospel age," and that 1914 would mark the end of a 2520-year period called "the Gentile Times," at which time world society would be replaced by the full establishment of God's kingdom on earth. Beginning in 1878 Russell and Barbour jointly edited Herald of the Morning. In June 1879 the two split over doctrinal differences, in July, Russell began publishing the magazine Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, stating that its purpose was to demonstrate that the world was in "the last days," and that a new age of earthly and human restitution under the reign of Christ was imminent.
From 1879, Watch Tower supporters gathered as autonomous congregations to study the Bible topically. Thirty congregations were founded, during 1879 and 1880, Russell visited each to provide the format he recommended for conducting meetings. In 1881, Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society was presided over by William Henry Conley, in 1884, Russell incorporated the society as a non-profit business to distribute tracts and Bibles. By about 1900, Russell had organized thousands of part- and full-time colporteurs, was appointing foreign missionaries and establishing branch offices. By the 1910s, Russell's organization maintained nearly a hundred traveling preachers. Russell engaged in significant global publishing efforts during his ministry, by 1912, he was the most distributed Christian author in the United States. Russell moved the Watch Tower Society's headquarters to Brooklyn, New York, in 1909, combining printing and corporate offices with a house of worship, he identified the religious movement as "Bible Students," and more formally as the International Bible Students Association.
By 1910, about 50,000 people worldwide were associated with the movement and congregations r
Council of Chalcedon
The Council of Chalcedon was a church council held from 8 October to 1 November, 451, at Chalcedon. The Council was called by Emperor Marcian to set aside the 449 Second Council of Ephesus, its principal purpose was to assert the orthodox catholic doctrine against the heresy of Eutyches and the Monophysites, although ecclesiastical discipline and jurisdiction occupied the council's attention. The council is numbered as the fourth ecumenical council by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, most Protestants. Oriental Orthodox Churches do not agree with the conduct and the proceedings of the Council calling it "Chalcedon, the Ominous". Followers of the Council believe its most important achievement was to issue the Chalcedonian Definition, stating that Jesus is "perfect both in deity and in humanness; the council's judgments and definitions regarding the divine marked a significant turning point in the Christological debates. In 325, the first ecumenical council determined that Jesus Christ was God, "consubstantial" with the Father, rejected the Arian contention that Jesus was a created being.
This was reaffirmed at the Council of Ephesus. About two years after Cyril of Alexandria's death in 444, an aged monk from Constantinople named Eutyches began teaching a subtle variation on the traditional Christology in an attempt to stop what he saw as a new outbreak of Nestorianism, he claimed to be a faithful follower of Cyril's teaching, declared orthodox in the Union of 433. Cyril had taught that "There is only one physis, since it is the Incarnation, of God the Word." Cyril had understood the Greek word physis to mean what the Latin word persona means, while most Greek theologians would have interpreted that word to mean natura. The energy and imprudence with which Eutyches asserted his opinions led to his being misunderstood. Thus, many understood Eutyches to be advocating Docetism, a sort of reversal of Arianism —where Arius had denied the consubstantial divinity of Jesus, Eutyches seemed to be denying that Jesus was human. Pope Leo I wrote. Eutyches had been accusing various personages of covert Nestorianism.
In November 448, Bishop of Constantinople held a local synod regarding a point of discipline connected with the province of Sardis. At the end of the session of this synod one of those inculpated, Bishop of Dorylaeum, brought a counter charge of heresy against the archimandrite. Eusebius demanded. Flavian preferred that the bishop and the archimandrite sort out their differences, but as his suggestion went unheeded, Eutyches was summoned to clarify his position regarding the nature of Christ. Eutyches reluctantly appeared, but his position was considered to be theologically unsophisticated, the synod finding his answers unresponsive condemned and exiled him. Flavian sent a full account to Pope Leo I. Although it had been accidentally delayed, Leo wrote a compendious explanation of the whole doctrine involved, sent it to Flavian as a formal and authoritative decision of the question. Eutyches appealed against the decision, labeling Flavian a Nestorian, received the support of Pope Dioscorus I of Alexandria.
John Anthony McGuckin sees an "innate rivalry" between the Sees of Constantinople. Dioscurus, imitating his predecessors in assuming a primacy over Constantinople, held his own synod which annulled the sentence of Flavian, absolved Eutyches. Through the influence of the court official Chrysaphius, godson of Eutyches, in 449, the competing claims between the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria led Emperor Theodosius II to call a council, held in Ephesus in 449, with Dioscorus presiding. Pope Leo sent four legates to represent him and expressed his regret that the shortness of the notice must prevent the presence of any other bishop of the West, he provided his legates, one of whom died en route, with a letter addressed to Flavian explaining Rome's position in the controversy. Leo's letter, now known as Leo's Tome, confessed that Christ had two natures, was not of or from two natures. On August 8, 449 the Second Council of Ephesus began its first session; the Acts of the first session of this synod were read at the Council of Chalcedon, 451, are thus preserved.
The remainder of the Acts are known through a Syriac translation by a Monophysite monk, written in the year 535 and published from a manuscript in the British Museum. Nonetheless, there are somewhat different interpretations as to what transpired; the question before the council by order of the emperor was whether Flavian, in a synod held by him at Constantinople in November, 448, had justly deposed and excommunicated the Archimandrite Eutyches for refusing to admit two natures in Christ. Dioscorus began the council by banning all members of the November 448 synod which had deposed Eutyches from sitting as judges, he introduced Eutyches who publicly professed that while Christ had two natures before the incarnation, the two natures had merged to form a single nature after the incarnation. Of the 130 assembled bishops, 111 voted to rehabilitate Eutyches. Throughout these proceedings, Hilary called for the reading of Leo's Tome, but was ignored; the Eastern Orthodox Church has different accounts of The Second Council of Ephesus.
Pope Dioscorus requested deferring reading of Leo's Tome, as it was not seen as necessary to start with, could be read later. This was seen as a rebuke to the representatives from the Chur
Oriental Orthodoxy is the fourth largest communion of Christian churches, with about 76 million members worldwide. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, it has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Armenia, Eritrea, Ethiopia and parts of the Middle East and India. An Eastern Christian communion of autocephalous churches, its bishops are equal by virtue of episcopal ordination, its doctrines can be summarised in that the communion recognizes the validity of only the first three ecumenical councils; the Oriental Orthodox communion is composed of six autocephalous churches: the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Collectively, they consider themselves to be the One, Holy and Apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles.
Most member churches are part of the World Council of Churches. All member churches share a identical theology, with the distinguishing feature being Miaphysitism. Three different rites are practiced in the communion: the western-influenced Armenian Rite, the West Syrian Rite of the two Syriac churches, the Alexandrian Rite of the Copts and Eritreans. At the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD, the Oriental Orthodox churches separated from the Imperial Roman Church over differences in Christology. Oriental Orthodoxy developed distinctively under the Patriarchate of Alexandria in Egypt part of the Pentarchy, the only episcopal see besides the Holy See to maintain the title "Pope"; the majority of Oriental Orthodox Christians live in Egypt, Ethiopia and Armenia, with smaller Syriac communities living in the Middle East–decreasing due to persecution–and India. There are many in other parts of the world, formed through diaspora and missionary activity; the Oriental Orthodox churches are distinguished by their recognition of only the first three ecumenical councils during the period of the State church of the Roman Empire –the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the First Council of Constantinople in 381 and the Council of Ephesus in 431.
Oriental Orthodoxy shares much theology and many ecclesiastical traditions with the Eastern Orthodox Church. The primary theological difference between the two communions is the differing Christology. Oriental Orthodoxy rejects the Chalcedonian Definition, instead adopts the Miaphysite formula, believing that the human and divine natures of Christ are united; the early prelates of the Oriental Orthodox churches thought that the Chalcedonian Definition implied a possible repudiation of the Trinity or a concession to Nestorianism. Other differences include minor deviations in social teaching and different views on ecumenism. Oriental Orthodox churches are considered to be more conservative with regard to social issues as well more enthusiastic about ecumenical relations with non-Orthodox churches; the break in communion between the Imperial Roman and Oriental Orthodox churches did not occur but rather over 2-3 centuries following the Council of Chalcedon. The two communions developed separate institutions, the Oriental Orthodox did not participate in any of the ecumenical councils.
The Oriental Orthodox churches maintain their own ancient apostolic succession. The various churches are governed by holy synods, with a primus inter pares bishop serving as primate; the primates hold titles like patriarch and pope. Among these patriarchs, the Pope of Alexandria takes precedence, is sometimes considered the "face" of Oriental Orthodoxy; the Alexandrian Patriarchate, along with Rome and Antioch, was one of the most prominent sees of the early Christian Church, contains a majority population of Coptic Christians, unlike Antioch is still a major population center. That said, the Pope of Alexandria has no governing powers with respect to the non-Coptic churches. Oriental Orthodoxy does not have a magisterial leader like the Roman Catholic Church, nor does the communion have a leader who can convene ecumenical synods like the Eastern Orthodox Church; the schism between Oriental Orthodoxy and the adherents of Chalcedonian Christianity was based on differences in Christology. The First Council of Nicaea, in 325, declared that Jesus Christ is God, to say, "consubstantial" with the Father.
The third ecumenical council, the Council of Ephesus, declared that Jesus Christ, though divine as well as human, is only one being, or person. Thus, the Council of Ephesus explicitly rejected Nestorianism, the Christological doctrine that Christ was two distinct beings, one divine and one human, who happened to inhabit the same body; the churches that became Oriental Orthodoxy were anti-Nestorian, therefore supported the decisions made at Ephesus. Twenty years after Ephesus, the Council of Chalcedon reaffirmed the view that Jesus Christ was a single person, but at the same time declared that this one person existed "in two complete natures", one human and one divine; those who opposed Chalcedon saw this as a concession to Nestorianism, or as a conspiracy to convert the Church to Nestorianism by stealth. As a result, over the following decades, they separated from communion with those who accepted the Council of Chalcedon, formed the body, today called Oriental Orthodoxy. At times, Chalcedonian Christians have referre
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church, considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has 67,000 full-time volunteer missionaries. In 2012, the National Council of Churches ranked the church as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States, with over 6.5 million members reported by the church, as of January 2018. It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening. Adherents referred to as "Latter-day Saints" or, less formally, "Mormons", view faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement as fundamental principles of their religion. LDS theology includes the Christian doctrine of salvation only through Jesus Christ, though LDS doctrines regarding the nature of God and the potential of mankind differ from mainstream Christianity.
The church has an open canon which includes four scriptural texts: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price. Other than the Bible, the majority of the LDS canon constitutes revelation received by Joseph Smith and recorded by his scribes which includes commentary and exegesis about the Bible, texts described as lost parts of the Bible, other works believed to be written by ancient prophets; because of some of the doctrinal differences, Catholic and several Protestant churches consider the Church to be distinct and separate from mainstream Christianity. Under the doctrine of continuing revelation, Latter-day Saints believe that the church president is a modern-day "prophet and revelator" and that Jesus Christ, under the direction of God the Father, leads the church by revealing his will to its president. Individual members of the church believe that they can receive personal revelation from God in conducting their lives; the president heads a hierarchical structure with various levels reaching down to local congregations.
Bishops, drawn from the laity, lead local congregations. Male members, beginning in January of the year they reach age 12, may be ordained to the priesthood, provided they are living the standards of the church. Women are not ordained to the priesthood but do occupy leadership roles in some church auxiliary organizations. Both men and women may serve as missionaries and the church maintains a large missionary program that proselytizes and conducts humanitarian services worldwide. Faithful members adhere to church laws of sexual purity, health and Sabbath observance, contribute ten percent of their income to the church in tithing; the church teaches about sacred ordinances through which adherents make covenants with God, including baptism, the sacrament, priesthood ordination and celestial marriage —all of which are of great significance to church members. The history of the LDS Church is divided into three broad time periods: the early history during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, in common with all Latter Day Saint movement churches.
The LDS Church called the Church of Christ, was formally organized by Joseph Smith on April 6, 1830, in western New York. Smith changed the name to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints after he stated he had received a revelation to do so. Initial converts were drawn to the church in part because of the newly published Book of Mormon, a self-described chronicle of indigenous American prophets that Smith said he had translated from golden plates. Smith intended to establish the New Jerusalem in North America, called Zion. In 1831, the church moved to Kirtland and began establishing an outpost in Jackson County, where he planned to move the church headquarters. However, in 1833, Missouri settlers brutally expelled the Latter Day Saints from Jackson County, the church was unable via a paramilitary expedition to recover the land; the church flourished in Kirtland as Smith published new revelations and the church built the Kirtland Temple, culminating in a dedication of the building similar to the day of Pentecost.
The Kirtland era ended in 1838, after a financial scandal rocked the church and caused widespread defections. Smith regrouped with the remaining church in Far West, but tensions soon escalated into violent conflicts with the old Missouri settlers. Believing the Saints to be in insurrection, the Missouri governor ordered that the Saints be "exterminated or driven from the State." In 1839, the Saints converted a swampland on the banks of the Mississippi River into Nauvoo, which became the church's new headquarters. Nauvoo grew as missionaries sent to Europe and elsewhere gained new converts who flooded into Nauvoo. Meanwhile, Smith introduced polygamy to his closest associates, he established ceremonies, which he stated the Lord had revealed to him, to allow righteous people to become gods in the afterlife, a secular institution to govern the Millennial kingdom. He introduced the church to a full accounting of his First Vision, in which two heavenly "personages" (God the Father and his
Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity that rejects the mainstream Christian doctrine of the Trinity—the teaching that God is three distinct hypostases or persons who are coeternal and indivisibly united in one being, or essence. Certain religious groups that emerged during the Protestant Reformation have been known as antitrinitarian, but are not considered Protestant in popular discourse due to their nontrinitarian nature. According to churches that consider the decisions of ecumenical councils final, Trinitarianism was definitively declared to be Christian doctrine at the 4th-century ecumenical councils, that of the First Council of Nicaea, which declared the full divinity of the Son, the First Council of Constantinople, which declared the divinity of the Holy Spirit. In terms of number of adherents, nontrinitarian denominations comprise a minority of modern Christianity; the largest nontrinitarian Christian denominations are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Oneness Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, La Luz del Mundo and the Iglesia ni Cristo, though there are a number of other smaller groups, including Christadelphians, Christian Scientists, Dawn Bible Students, Living Church of God, Assemblies of Yahweh, Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, Members Church of God International, Unitarian Universalist Christians, The Way International, The Church of God International, the United Church of God.
Nontrinitarian views differ on the nature of God and the Holy Spirit. Various nontrinitarian philosophies, such as adoptionism and subordinationism existed prior to the establishment of the Trinity doctrine in AD 325, 381, 431, at the Councils of Nicaea and Ephesus. Nontrinitarianism was renewed by Cathars in the 11th through 13th centuries, in the Unitarian movement during the Protestant Reformation, in the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, in some groups arising during the Second Great Awakening of the 19th century; the doctrine of the Trinity, as held in mainstream Christianity, is not present in the other major Abrahamic religions. Christian apologists and other Church Fathers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, having adopted and formulated the Logos Christology, considered the Son of God as the instrument used by the supreme God, the Father, to bring the creation into existence. Justin Martyr, Theophilus of Antioch, Hippolytus of Rome and Tertullian in particular state that the internal Logos of God —his impersonal divine reason—was begotten as Logos uttered, becoming a person to be used for the purpose of creation.
The Encyclopædia Britannica states: "to some Christians the doctrine of the Trinity appeared inconsistent with the unity of God.... They therefore denied it, accepted Jesus Christ, not as incarnate God, but as God's highest creature by whom all else was created.... View in the early Church long contended with the orthodox doctrine." Although the nontrinitarian view disappeared in the early Church and the Trinitarian view became an orthodox doctrine of modern Christianity, variations of the nontrinitarian view are still held by a small number of Christian groups and denominations. Various views exist regarding the relationships between the Father and Holy Spirit; those who believe that Jesus is not God, nor equal to God, but was either God's subordinate Son, a messenger from God, or prophet, or the perfect created human: Adoptionism holds that Jesus became divine at his baptism or at his resurrection. Arius' position was that the Son was brought forth as the first of God's creations, that the Father created all things through the Son.
Arius taught that in the creation of the universe, the Father was the ultimate creator, supplying all the materials and directing the design, while the Son worked the materials, making all things at the bidding and in the service of the Father, by which "through all things came into existence". Arianism became the dominant view in some regions in the time of the Roman Empire, notably the Visigoths until 589; the third Council of Sirmium in 357 was the high point of Arianism. The Seventh Arian Confession held that both homoousios and homoiousios were unbiblical and that the Father is greater than the Son: "But since many persons are disturbed by questions concerning what is called in Latin substantia, but in Greek ousia, that is, to make it understood more as to'coessential,' or what is called,'like-in-essence,' there ought to be no mention of any of these at all, nor exposition of them in the Church, for this reason and for this consideration, that in divine Scripture nothing is written about them, that they are above men's knowledge and above men's understanding".
They interpret verses such as John 1:1 to refer to God's "plan" existing in God's mind before Christ's birth.
Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is an Oriental Orthodox church with its headquarters in Asmara, Eritrea. Its autocephaly was recognised by Shenouda III, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria after Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1993. Tewaḥido is cognate to Arabic tawhid. According to the Orthodox Encyclopedia article on the Henoticon: around 500 bishops within the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem refused to accept the "two natures" doctrine decreed by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, thus separating themselves from the future Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches; this separate Christian communion came to be known as Oriental Orthodoxy. Oriental Orthodox Churches, which today include the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of India, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, are referred to as "Non-Chalcedonian"; these Churches themselves describe their Christology as miaphysite, but outsiders incorrectly describe them as "monophysite".
Tewahedo Orthodoxy is a major ethnoreligious group in the largest Christian group there. Christianity has been the majority religion since the 4th century and remains still the largest population, they spoke Ge'ez, which belongs to the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic family. However, the language is now extinct, has been limited to liturgical use since the 10th century. Tewahedo now speak Tigrinya. Most adhere to the Tewahdo Orthodox Church. Tewahdo is a religion as well for the adherent of Eritrean Tewahdos; the Eritrean Orthodox Church claims its origins from Philip the Evangelist. It became the state church of the Kingdom of Aksum under Ezana in the 4th century through the efforts of a Syrian Greek named Frumentius, known in the church as Abba Selama, Kesate Birhan; as a boy, Frumentius had been shipwrecked with his brother Aedesius on the Eritrean coast. The brothers managed to be brought to the royal court, where they rose to positions of influence and converted Emperor Ezana to Christianity, causing him to be baptised.
Ezana sent Frumentius to Alexandria to ask the Patriarch, Athanasius of Alexandria, to appoint a bishop for Axum. Athanasius appointed Frumentius himself, who returned to Axum as Bishop with the name of Abune Selama. For fifteen centuries afterward, the pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria always named a Copt to be Abuna "metropolitan bishop" of the Ethiopian Church. Little else is known of church history down to the period of Jesuit influence, which broke the connection with Egypt. Union with the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria continued after Arab conquests in Egypt. Abu Saleh records in the 12th century that the patriarch sent letters twice a year to the kings of Abyssinia and Nubia, until Al Hakim stopped the practice. Coptic patriarch Cyril II sent Severus as bishop, with orders to suppress the practice of polygamy and to enforce observance of canonical consecration for all churches; these examples show the close relations of the two churches concurrent with the Middle Ages.
Early in the 16th century the church was brought under the influence of a Portuguese mission. In 1439, in the reign of Zara Yaqob, a religious discussion between Abba Giyorgis and a French visitor had led to the dispatch of an embassy from Ethiopia to the Holy See. In 1507 Matthew, an Armenian, had been sent as Ethiopian envoy to Portugal to ask aid against the Adal Sultanate. In 1520 an embassy under Rodrigo de Lima landed in Ethiopia. An account of the Portuguese mission, which remained for several years, was written by the chaplain, Francisco Álvares. Ignatius of Loyola wished to essay the task of conversion, but this did not happen. Instead, the pope sent out João Nunes Barreto as Patriarch of the East Indies, with Andrés de Oviedo as bishop. After repeated failures, some measure of success was achieved under Susenyos I, but not until 1624 did the Emperor make a formal declaration of communion with Pope Urban VIII. Susenyos made the Catholic Church the official state church, but was met with heavy resistance and, in 1632, had to abdicate in favour of his son, who promptly restored Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity as the official religion of the country.
He expelled the Society of Jesus in 1633, in 1665 Fasilides ordered all Jesuit books be burned. In the 1920s the Italian colonial power in Eritrea started the first attempts to found a separate Eritrean Orthodox Church; until the Orthodox Church in Eritrea was part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, with a strong link to Aksum in Tigray as the traditional centre of the Church structure. This was, against the interest of the colonizer: Eritrea as a separate colony was supposed to have a church independent from the neighbor's influence, in order to be integrated into the colonial system; the separate Eritrean Church was short-lived. When it was still not established, the Italians invaded Ethiopia in 1935, formed a unified territory, Africa Orientale Italiana, encompassing Eritrea and Italian Somalia. Eritrea was unified with the northe
Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement named for its belief that the God in Christianity is one person, as opposed to the Trinity which in many other branches of Christianity defines God as three persons in one being: the Father and Holy Spirit. Unitarian Christians, believe that Jesus was inspired by God in his moral teachings, he is a savior, but he was not a deity or God incarnate. Unitarianism does not constitute one single Christian denomination, but rather refers to a collection of both extant and extinct Christian groups, whether related to each other or not, which share a common theological concept of the oneness nature of God. While the uncompromising theological monotheism at the heart of Christian Unitarianism distinguishes it from the major Christian denominations which subscribe to Trinitarian theology, Christian Unitarianism is analogous to the more austere monotheistic understandings of God in Judaism, nearer to the concept of the oneness of God in Islam. Unitarianism is known for the rejection of several other Western Christian doctrines, including the doctrines of original sin and the infallibility of the Bible.
Unitarians in previous centuries accepted the doctrine of punishment in an eternal hell, but few do today. Unitarianism might be considered a part of Protestantism, depending on one's stance or viewpoint, some exclude it from that term due to its Nontrinitarian nature. Despite common origins during the Protestant Reformation, some scholars call it a part of Nontrinitarianism, while others consider it both Protestant and Nontrinitarian, seeing no contradiction between those two terms. None of the three views are universally accepted; the Unitarian movement is tied to the more radical critiques of the Reformation. First organized in Eastern Europe during the Reformation, Unitarian communities have developed in Britain, South Africa, Canada, the United States, Jamaica and Japan. Unitarians began simultaneously in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and in Transylvania in the mid-16th century. Among the adherents were a significant number of Italians who took refuge in Poland. In the 17th century, significant repression in Poland led many Unitarians to flee or be killed for their faith, notably Katarzyna Weiglowa.
From the 16th to 18th centuries, Unitarians in Britain faced significant political persecution, including John Biddle, Mary Wollstonecraft, Theophilus Lindsey. In England, the first Unitarian Church was established in 1774 on Essex Street, where today's British Unitarian headquarters are still located. In the United States, different schools of Unitarian theology first spread in New England and the mid-Atlantic states; the first official acceptance of the Unitarian faith on the part of a congregation in America was by King's Chapel in Boston, from where James Freeman began teaching Unitarian doctrine in 1784, was appointed rector and revised the prayer book according to Unitarian doctrines in 1786. In India, three different schools of Unitarian thought influenced varying movements, including the Brahmo Samaj, the Unitarian Church of the Khasi Hills, the Unitarian Christian Church of Chennai, in Madras, founded in 1795. Unitarians place emphasis on the ultimate role of reason in interpreting sacred scriptures, thus freedom of conscience and freedom of the pulpit are core values in the tradition.
Reformation is an ongoing process. Constant study and new experiences can lead to new insights for teachings and community practice. In varying contexts, Unitarians seek to affirm the use of reason in religion and freedom of conscience. In J. Gordon Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions, the Unitarian tradition is classified among "the'liberal' family of churches". Unitarianism is a proper noun and follows the same English usage as other theologies that have developed within a religious movement; the term existed shortly before it became the name of a religious movement, thus it is used as a common noun that would describe any understanding of Jesus Christ that denies the Trinity or which believes that God is only one person. In that case, it would be a nontrinitarian belief system not associated with the Unitarian religious movement. For example, the Unitarian movement has never accepted the Godhood of Jesus, therefore does not include those nontrinitarian belief systems that do, such as Oneness Pentecostalism, United Pentecostal Church International and the True Jesus Church and the writings of Michael Servetus, all of which maintain that Jesus is God as a single person.
Although these groups are unitarians in the common sense, they are not in the proper sense. To avoid confusion, this article is about Unitarianism as a religious movement. For the generic form of unitarianism, see Nontrinitarianism; some religious groups have adopted the 19th-century term biblical unitarianism to distinguish their theology from Unitarianism. These have no direct relation to the Unitarian movement; the term Unitarian is sometimes applied today to those who belong to a Unitarian church but do not hold a Unitarian theological belief. In the past, the vast majority of members of Unitarian churches were Unitarians in theology. Over time, some Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists moved away from the traditional Christian roots of Unitarianism. For example, in the 1890s the American Unitarian Association began to allow non-Christian and non-theistic churches and individuals to be part of their fellowship; as a result, people who held no Unitarian belief began to be called Unitarians because they