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ImageChristianity in the world is represented by three basic directions: Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Protestantism.

Orthodoxy (means to glorify God correctly) is one of the Christianity directions, separated and organizationally formed in the 11th century as a result of the separation of churches. Confessional basis of orthodoxy is Holy Writ and Holy Tradition.

Basic orthodoxy principles are stated in 12 clauses of the belief symbol. The most important postulates of orthodoxy are the God trinity dogmas (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit), incarnation of God, atonement, Sabbath and ascension of Jesus.

Orthodoxy is characteristic with the complex, detailed cult, the bases of which are seven main customs: epiphany, Eucharist, confession, confirmation, chrism, marriage and clergy. Main worship in orthodoxy is liturgy; main holiday is the Easter. Clergy is divided into white (married parish priests) and black (monks, who give the vow of chastity). There are monasteries for men and women. Only a monk can become a bishop.

At present there are 15 autocephalous churches in orthodoxy: Albanian, Alexandrian, American, Antioch, Bulgarian, Georgian, Jerusalem, Cyprus, Constantinople, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Czechoslovakian, Greek and 4 autonomous churches: Cretan, Sinai, Finnish, Japanese.

Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) was based in 988 in the times of Vladimir I as Metropolitan of Constantinople Church with the centre in Kiev. At present, ROC is led by the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia - Cyrill.

Catholicism (from Greek  atholikos - ecumenic, universal) is the western branch of Christianity and predominantly spread in the Western and Eastern Europe (France, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Czechia and Hungary), mostly in the countries of the South and North America.Image There are Catholics in Asia and Africa also, but the influence of Catholicism there is not too large. Over the last 100 years, the number of Catholics has multiplied 4 times. The Catholicism is professed by over 1 bln. believers united in around 200 thousand parishes where about 560 thousand priests conduct their ministry.

The basis of the Catholic faith lies in general Christian credo comprising of 12 dogmas and seven sacraments. The foundation of the Catholicism is not only based on the Holy Scripture, but also the Holy Tradition, which includes decrees of 21 councils as well as official documents of the Catholic Church and the Pope.

The Catholic Church is distinguished with strict hierarchic organization with the international center in Vatican headed by the Pope being considered as the heir of holy apostle Peter. The official full title of the Pope sounds like this: Episcopus of Rome, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, Patriarch of the West, Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Monarch of Vatican City State. The Pope is elected by the conclave (College of Cardinals) from the circle of high clergy for life tenure. 

According to the Constitution of Vatican, the Pope holds highest legislative, executive and judicial power. A ruling body of Vatican is the Holy See.

A central administrative machine of the Roman Catholic Church is the Roman Curia, which governs over church and secular organizations working in most of the countries all over the world. At the regional level, Episcopal conferences are conducted.

In Catholicism influence of monastic or so called knightly orders is very high. At present, new sites of missionary activities of the catholic monkery are largely located in the countries of Africa and Asia including Kazakhstan.

Roman Catholic Church. Tightly connected with the Roman Catholic Churches are the Uniates (Ukranian Greek-Catholic Church) - a church branch based on union (unia) founded in 1596 between a part of the Orthodox churches of the Western Ukraine with the Catholic Church given the first ones recognize religious leadership of the Pope and some catholic dogmas on retention of the traditional orthodox cult.

ImageProtestantism (from Latin –rotestants - protester, objector) is the third branch in Christianity, spread in the countries of the North and West Europe, the USA and Canada. According to the UN, at present there are more than 332 mln. Protestants including Lutherans, Baptists, Adventists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Anglicans and others.

Protestantism was formed in fight against Catholicism and based on denial of its most important concepts and terms. In so called "religious wars" of the XVth century, the matter was, first of all, about material class interests. Fight of the bourgeoisie against the feudalism was expressed also in the fight against Catholic church - spiritual backbone of the feudalism.

The most important protestant dogma is the one about justification by faith, getting salvation and eternal life due to personal faith without need in any mediators. By this, Protestantism has annihilated segregation of all believers between the clergymen and the laymen.   

 
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