Nondenominational Christianity consists of churches which distance themselves from the confessionalism or creedalism of other Christian communities by calling themselves nondenominational. The first non-denominational churches appeared in the United States in the course of the 20th century, in the form of independent churches, it experienced significant and continuous growth in the 21st century in the United States, where they represented the third Christian denomination in 2010. In Asia in Singapore and Malaysia, these churches are more numerous, since the 1990s; the first characteristic is that non-denominational churches are not affiliated with a denominational stream of evangelical movements, either by choice from their foundation or because they have detached themselves from their Christian denomination of origin in their history. This doesn’t prevent them from being a member of a church union. Non-denominational churches are recognizable from the evangelical movement though they are autonomous and have no other formal labels.
The movement is visible in the megachurches. The neo-charismatic churches use the term nondenominational to define themselves. Churches with a focus on seeker are more to identify themselves as non-denominational. Boston University religion scholar Stephen Prothero argues that nondenominationalism hides the fundamental theological and spiritual issues that drove the division of Christianity into denominations behind a veneer of "Christian unity", he argues that nondenominationalism encourages a descent of Christianity—and indeed, all religions—into comfortable "general moralism" rather than being a focus for facing the complexities of churchgoers' culture and spirituality. Prothero further argues that it encourages ignorance of the Scriptures, lowering the overall religious literacy while increasing the potential for inter-religious misunderstandings and conflict. Community Church movement Jesuism Local churches Non-church movement Non-denominational Muslim Non-denominational Judaism Postdenominationalism Sunday Christian Nondenominational Congregations Study
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
The Unionskirche is the active Protestant parish church of Idstein, a major town in the German Rheingau-Taunus District. Idstein was a residence of the Counts of Nassau; the church building in the center of the historic "Altstadt" dates back to the 14th century when it was built as a collegiate church. It became Lutheran during the Reformation, its interior was adapted in the 17th century to become a Lutheran "Predigt- und Hofkirche". The most prominent decoration in the church is the series of 38 paintings by the Flemish painter Michael Angelo Immenraedt, an exponent of Flemish Baroque painting, others, they follow a program of biblical scenes. The church was named Unionskirche in 1917 to commemorate the union of Lutheran and Reformed Protestants in the Duchy of Nassau in August 1817, the first of its kind; the Unionskirche is a recognized monument under the Hague Convention. It is used by the Protestant congregation, it is open to other institutions as a concert venue, including concerts of the Rheingau Musik Festival.
It features an organ, built in 1912 by Walcker Orgelbau, retaining the historic case dating back to 1783. Remnants in the tower prove; the oldest part of today's church is the 13th century base of the north tower bordering on the choir. The present church was built from 1330 to 1350 under Gerlach, count of Nassau, as the church for a Collegiate of six canons, founded in 1333. Collegiate and church were dedicated to St. Martin. Idstein became Lutheran during the Reformation. After the Thirty Years' War, the church was transformed to a representative Baroque "Predigt- und Hofkirche" by Johann of Nassau-Idstein; the rebuilding lasted from 1665 to 1677. While the nave was retained, the church was expanded to the west, the walls were raised resulting in flatter roofs. Most of the pillars were removed, oval windows were installed in the clerestory, portals were rounded; the interior was changed from 1665. Arnold Harnisch and Hans Martin Sattler removed the vaults and built "Marmorarkaden". Galleries were installed on three sides in 1675.
Certain members of the society had reserved chairs: government, secretary, principal, citizen. Plaques on the respective balustrades show biblical quotations relevant to the position. In 1714, the tower was heightened, in 1830 an octagonal spire with gables was added. In 1725, dormer windows were added to provide better lighting for the gallery. A unique feature of the church are 38 oil paintings, which cover the ceiling of the nave and the upper part of the walls completely; this use of paintings as an architectural feature is unusual for a Protestant church. The paintings on biblical topics, were created from 1673 to 1678 by Michael Angelo Immenraedt from Antwerp and his assistant Johannes Melchior Bencard. Three paintings are based on designs by Joachim von Sandrart, five were executed by his nephew Johann von Sandrart. Several paintings are based on well-known works by Rubens, for example The Wedding at Cana on the south wall is based on Rubens's painting The Feast of Herod which hangs today in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh.
The sequence of paintings aims to tell biblical stories to a illiterate congregation. The biblical figures are depicted in courtly Baroque garments; the painting "Heimsuchung" shows Mary arriving with a servant. Her cousin Elizabeth lives in a residence with a formal garden in the background, resembling the Idstein residential palace of Johann of Nassau-Idstein, commenced in 1646; the paintings in the center of the ceiling all have a topic and use Baroque optical illusionism to make the viewer look up, from altar to the back: "Verklärung Christi am Tabor", Auferstehung, Himmelfahrt, "Johannes auf Patmos sieht den Himmel offen und die Engel mit dem Evangelium". Paintings before restoration: Paintings after restoration, 2017: The altar, of marble, was built in 1676 by Arnold Harnisch, it shows a painting of the Last Supper from the end of the 17th century. The marble pulpit was erected in 1673 by Christian Gaßmann, the baptismal font of marble, in 1675 by Martin Sattler. Count Johann, infamous for his Persecution of witches as late as 1676, died shortly before the reconstruction of the church was completed.
Franz Matthias Hiernle erected an epitaph for Georg August Samuel von Nassau-Idstein and his family, his wife Henriette Dorothea and their children. It was placed left of the altar. A 1725 fresco above the altar by Maximilan Pronner shows the vision of St. John in the Book of Revelation, Worthy is the Lamb that Handel painted in music to conclude his oratorio Messiah. In 1726, additional wooden pillars in the shape of palm trees were installed; the lattice separating the elevated chancel was made by Johann Urban Zais. The crystal chandeliers from the early 19th century were in the old Kurhaus Wiesbaden; the Protestant church was called Stadtkirche. The few remaining Catholics of Idstein were not permitted to hold services until 1806, they were granted the right to use the "Schlosskapelle" until 1888, when they could move to their own church. The Stadtkirche was named Unionskirche in 1917, to commemorate the
The Unification movement known as the Unification Church, is a worldwide new religious movement whose members are sometimes colloquially called "Moonies". It was founded in 1954 under the name Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity in Seoul, South Korea by Sun Myung Moon, a Korean religious leader known for his business ventures and engagement in social and political causes. In 1994 the HSA-UWC was replaced by Moon with a new organization, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification; the movement is spiritually-based and includes a number of independent organizations, including business, educational and other types of organizations. The beliefs of the Unification movement are based on Moon's book Divine Principle, which differs from the teachings of Nicene Christianity on its view of Jesus and its introduction of the concept of "indemnity"; the best-known ceremonies of the movement are its unique funerals and mass weddings. The Unification movement has received strong criticism and has attracted numerous controversies, including that of being a dangerous cult.
Its involvement in politics, including anti-communism and support for Korean reunification, has been criticized. Its beliefs have been criticized by both Christian scholars. Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han, were banned from entry into Germany and the other 14 Schengen treaty countries, on the grounds that they are leaders of a sect that endangered the personal and social development of young people. Moonie is a colloquial term sometimes used to refer to members of the Unification movement; this is derived from the name of its founder Sun Myung Moon, was first used in 1974 by the American media. Unification movement members have used the word Moonie, including Moon himself, the president of the Unification Theological Seminary David Kim, Bo Hi Pak, Moon's aide and president of Little Angels Children's Folk Ballet of Korea. In the 1980s and 1990s the Unification Church of the United States undertook an extensive public relations campaign against the use of the word by the news media. In 1989 the Chicago Tribune was picketed after referring to members as "Moonies".
Minister and civil rights leader James Bevel handed out fliers at the protest which said: "Are the Moonies our new niggers?" On an October 6, 1994 broadcast of Nightline, host Ted Koppel stated: "On last night's program... I used the term'Moonies'; this is a label which members of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church find demeaning and offensive, I'd like to apologize for its use." In other contexts it is still sometimes used and not always considered pejorative. On February 25, 1920, Sun Myung Moon was born Mun Yong-myeong in modern-day Sangsa-ri, Deogun-myon, Jeongju-gun, North P'yŏng'an Province, at a time when Korea was under Japanese rule. Moon's birthday was recorded as January 6 by the traditional lunar calendar. Around 1930 Moon's family, who followed traditional Confucianist beliefs, converted to Christianity and joined the Presbyterian Church, where he taught Sunday school. Unification Church members believe that Jesus appeared to Mun Yong-myong on Easter Day in 1936, asked him to accomplish the work left unfinished after his crucifixion.
After a period of prayer and consideration, Moon accepted the mission changing his name to Mun Son-myong. In November 1943, Moon married Sun Kil Choi. In 1943, Hak Ja Han, Moon's future wife, was born in North Korea. After World War II and the Japanese occupation ended in 1945, Moon began preaching his message. In 1946, Moon traveled alone to Pyongyang in Communist-ruled North Korea. Moon was arrested on allegations of spying for South Korea and given a five-year sentence to the Hŭngnam labor camp. In 1950, after serving 34 months of his sentence, Moon was released from North Korea during the Korean War when United Nations troops advanced on the camp and the guards fled. In 1953, Moon divorced Choi, it is reported that he had a child with a different woman in 1954. Moon's teachings, called the Divine Principle, were first published as Wonli Wonbon in 1945; the earliest manuscript was lost in North Korea during the Korean War. A second, expanded version, Wonli Hesol, or Explanation of the Divine Principle, was published in 1957.
Its most propagated text, Exposition of the Divine Principle, was published in 1966. Moon built his first church as a refugee in Pusan. Moon founded the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity in Seoul on May 1, 1954, it expanded in South Korea and by the end of 1955 had 30 centers throughout the nation. The HSA-UWC expanded throughout the world with most members living in South Korea, the Philippines, other nations in East Asia. In 1958, Moon sent missionaries to Japan, in 1959, to America. Missionary work took place in Washington, DC, New York, California, it found success in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the HSA-UWC expanded in Oakland and San Francisco. By 1971, the HSA-UWC in the US had about 500 members. By 1973, it had some presence in all a few thousand members. In the 1970s, American HSA-UWC members were noted for their enthusiasm and dedication, which included raising money for UC projects on so-called "mobile fundraising teams"; the HSA-UWC sent missionaries to Europe.
They remained underground until the 1990s. Unification movement activity in South America began in the 1970s with missionary work; the HSA-UWC made large investments in civic organizations and business projects, including an international newspaper. Star
Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren
The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren is the largest Czech Protestant church and the second-largest church in the Czech Republic after the Catholic Church. It was formed in 1918 in Czechoslovakia through the unification of the Protestant churches of the Lutheran and Reformed confessions; the ECCB has about 115,000 members in more than 260 local congregations, which are broken down into 14 seniorates throughout the Czech Republic. In 2013, it reported 84,022 baptized members. Numbers peaked in 1950 with 402,000 members. Reformation in the Czech lands started in the 15th century, one century before the great Luther's Reformation. At that time, most Czechs were Protestant. However, non-Catholic churches were forbidden in 1620, when Bohemian Revolt was decisively defeated and victorious Habsburg rulers imposed harsh Counter-Reformation measures on the Bohemian Crown; this ban was mitigated in 1781 by issuing the Patent of Toleration that permitted Lutheran and Reformed churches in the Habsburg Monarchy.
Other minor churches were still forbidden until the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918. The ECCB was established in 1918 by unification of all Lutheran and Reformed churches in Bohemia and Silesia intending to be an successor of the Unity of the Brethren; the ECCB is a member of the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, the Lutheran World Federation and the World Communion of Reformed Churches. Official website
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
Congregational churches are Protestant churches in the Reformed tradition practicing congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs. Congregationalism, as defined by the Pew Research Center, is estimated to represent 0.5 per cent of the worldwide Protestant population. The report defines it narrowly, encompassing denominations in the United States and the United Kingdom, which can trace their history back to nonconforming Protestants, Separatists, English religious groups coming out of the English Civil War, other English dissenters not satisfied with the degree to which the Church of England had been reformed. Congregationalist tradition has a presence in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, various island nations in the Pacific region, it has been introduced either by immigrant dissenter Protestants or by missionary organization such as the London Missionary Society. A number of evangelical Congregational churches are members of the World Evangelical Congregational Fellowship.
In the United Kingdom, many Congregational churches claim their descent from Protestant denominations formed on a theory of union published by the theologian and English separatist Robert Browne in 1582. Ideas of nonconforming Protestants during the Puritan Reformation of the Church of England laid foundation for these churches. In England, the early Congregationalists were called Separatists or Independents to distinguish them from the Calvinistic Presbyterians, whose churches embrace a polity based on the governance of elders. Congregationalists differed with the Reformed churches using episcopalian church governance, led by a bishop. Congregationalism in the United States traces its origins to the Puritans of New England, who wrote the Cambridge Platform of 1648 to describe the autonomy of the church and its association with others. Within the United States, the model of Congregational churches was carried by migrating settlers from New England into New York into the Old North West, further.
With their insistence on independent local bodies, they became important in many social reform movements, including abolitionism and women's suffrage. Modern Congregationalism in the United States is split into three bodies: the United Church of Christ, the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches and the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, the most theologically conservative. Congregationalists believe their model of church governance fulfills the description of the early church and allows people the most direct relationship with God. Congregationalism is more identified as a movement than a single denomination, given its distinguishing commitment to the complete autonomy of the local congregation; the idea that each distinct congregation constitutes the visible Body of the church can, however, be traced to John Wycliffe and the Lollard movement, which followed Wycliffe's removal from teaching authority in the Roman Catholic Church. The early Congregationalists shared with Anabaptist theology the ideal of a pure church.
They believed the adult conversion experience was necessary for an individual to become a full member in the church, unlike other Reformed churches. As such, the Congregationalists were a reciprocal influence on the Baptists, they differed in counting the children of believers in some sense members of the church. On the other hand, the Baptists required each member followed by baptism. King Henry VIII made himself Supreme Head of the Church without allowing a change in doctrine or liturgy during his lifetime, he was not excommunicated but broke with Rome to legitimize his marriage to Anne Boleyn in 1533 after trying unsuccessfully to have his marriage with his wife, Catherine of Aragon annulled. Henry forced Parliament to approve the Act of Supremacy in 1534 which made him "the only supreme head on earth of the Church in England"; the title was changed to Supreme Governor of the Church of England in 1559. Still in effect; the Church of England ceased to be subject to the Church of Rome. However, it continued as before with the same episcopal ecclesiastical structure, Canon Law, Apostolic Succession.
It saw itself as the continuing Church in England without break. However its worship life was changed." The whole story of the English Reformation which produced the Church of England is a tale of retreat from the Protestant advance of 1550..." Pope Saint Pius V regretfully excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I. From the beginning of her reign a small but vocal party of radical Reformers Calvinists who represented less than 10% of the population pressed for the abolition of episcopacy - the 3-fold order of bishop priest and deacon - church music, the old canon law and liturgical and doctrinal practices they regarded as hangovers from Catholicism, they got nowhere. The persistence of the government's religious program and time had defeated them: England 80% Catholic in 1558 with a Catholic clergy evolved under Elizabeth. By 1600 the country was 20 % Catholic, 70 % Protestant C of 10 % Radicals; the great majority of Catholics had gone over to the Settlement as the Catholic-trained clergy ministered to them in the early years "with the vestments and movements of the old mass," Christopher Haigh, English Reformations p. 289, were replaced over four decades by new clergy weaned on the Prayer Book.
Frustrated at these leftovers from an earlier Ag