I was reading about schisms in Christianity. I could found out a few schisms which has lead to the generation of new churches. But many of those churches were died out after sometime but some of them have grown into churches of varying number of adherents.

I could only identify these many schisms that have lead to a church which is still active in the modern times. I am speaking from a Roman Catholic Church point of view, but I don't anyway hold that the teachings of Roman Catholic Church is superior to the teachings of other churches.

Nestorian Schism has lead to a breakup and the Assyrian Church of the East is still considered as a Nestorian Church because they don't accept the teachings of the First Council of Ephesus in AD 431.

Oriental Orthodox Churches were a result of the rejection of the teachings Council of Chalcedon in AD 451.

The great schism lead to the formation of Eastern Orthodox church.

Now, this is my question.

Is there any other church that is still surviving to present day that has formed due to any schism that has happened before the great schism?

  • 1
    You've identified two such Churches - do you mean any other such churches you don't know about? Jun 11, 2017 at 8:43
  • Yes. That is my question. Sorry, English is not my first language.
    – Deepu
    Jun 11, 2017 at 17:56
  • 1
    While some beliefs of other schisms persist (e.g. Jehovahs Witnesses hold essentially Arian beliefs), and some are being rehabilitated (e.g. gnosticism - motivated to some extent by Elaine Pagels), I don't think any other particular sect has survived intact. Will be interested in the answers.
    – guest37
    Jun 12, 2017 at 13:59
  • 2
    "The great schism lead to the formation of Eastern Orthodox church" - Orthodox would say that the great schism led to the the formation of the Roman Catholic Church
    – guest37
    Jun 13, 2017 at 16:44
  • 1
    @KorvinStarmast - Yes, Coptics are non-Chalcedonian Orthodox that rejected the 4th Ecumenical Council
    – guest37
    Jun 13, 2017 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


There have been several significant schisms or divisions of the Christian church. Here is a sample:

  • 431 - Council of Ephesus which produced the distinction between the Assyrian Church and the "the rest"; provoked by disputes about the nature of Christ (Nestorianism in this case) among other things.
  • 451 - Council of Chalcedon which produced the Oriental Orthodox Church; provoked by disputes about the nature of Christ among other things.
  • 1054 The "Great Schism" when the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Bishop of Rome excommunicated each other to produce the Roman Catholic Church vs the Eastern Orthodox Church
  • The "Reformation" of the 16th century produced three or four new branches of Christianity, namely, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Anglicanism, and Anabaptists. The last two subsequently spawned several more such as Methodism, Pentecostalism. Calvinism and Lutheranism also spawned new denominations. All these are collectively known as "protestant" because they protested against the authority of Rome.
  • 1552 saw another schism in the Church of the East dividing it into two factions; one entered full communion with Rome and the other remained separate until the 19th century.

This brief list does not include some very early Church divisions such as Gnosticism, Arianism, Ebionites (whose teachings influenced Mohammad), etc. All these survive today in various forms. For an introduction to much more detail, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_denomination

  • We might soon include the schism of 2019 between the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate and the Patriarchate of Constantinople. They are no longer in communion in response to the Ecumenical Patriarch establishing what most Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions view as a non-canonical Patriarchate of Ukraine. The schism has perhaps deeper roots going back to what was supposed to be a Pan-Orthodox Synod in 2016 which the Patriarchs of Moscow, Antioch, Bulgaria, and Georgia all boycotted.
    – guest37
    Jun 6, 2019 at 0:55
  • @guest37 Don't consider it to be a great schism to early. In the Church of the first millenium Schisms over a few decades weren't rare.
    – K-HB
    Jun 6, 2019 at 11:35

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