There seem to be a confusingly large number of Christian churches (Catholic, Lutheran, baptists, evangelicals, Presbyterians). Could someone point me to a good overview that lists the mainstream ones, shows the main doctrinal differences, and also how they map between different countries. For example the German "Evangelische Kirche" seems quite different from the what in the US is called "evangelical".

  • I think this question is too broad for this site. You're asking for a overview that would essentially give you the entire history of the church. I'm not sure that there's any volume that can give you a thorough understanding of the differences between all the denominations out there, save for a multi-volume set like this: christianbook.com/history-of-the-christian-church-volumes/… – David Morton Feb 26 '13 at 13:36
  • Sorry, I wasn't expecting a complete answer here, just a few pointers like the one below. – Hilmar Feb 26 '13 at 17:05

You can find a fairly comprehensive history of Christian Denominations and their origins on the Wikipedia article for "Christian denomination."

This chart, written by Wendell Holmes Rone from a distinctly Landmarkist perspective, maps out some of the key denominational differences. (Click to enlarge images)

If don't mind excessive advertising, a more comprehensive chart can be found here: Denominations Beliefs

As far as maps go, here's a fairly current source (2010) that maps distinct denominations within the US and broader categories of Christianity throughout the world based on internet presence.

From Britanica (1995)

Find out more here:

Mapping Religious Cyberscapes

New Technologies and Interdisciplinary Research on Religion

Mapping Christianity

  • Welcome to the site. Very interesting maps. – Narnian Feb 26 '13 at 14:42
  • Some of these maps indicate Pentecostal and Protestant. What is the difference between these according to the map makers? – fгedsbend Feb 27 '13 at 2:49
  • @fredsbend - From the comments on the Map source (unofficial): "Pentecostal and Anglican are part of the Protestant tradition, in terms of theology and history. In terms of theology though, I can appreciate distinguishing them from the Protestant mainstream. The Anglican church has historically had a significant Anglo-Catholic demographic and many Pentecostal churches with their emphasis on emotion and experience, seem to be moving away from the Bible-centered foundation laid by the Protestant Reformation." – Brandon Boone Feb 27 '13 at 3:10
  • I am quoting askanydifference.com here. The difference between the Lutherans and the Baptists is that Lutheranism regarded baptism for Lutherans as a signification of grace and the method involves sprinkling water on the head of the believers (even newborns) whereas Baptists disregarded the ideology of baptism for infants and the custom is generally delivered by full immersion in water as an emblematic of the complete washing off of sins. – Sandeep Jul 12 '20 at 15:56

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