Christianity is by far the largest collective religious group in the world, but it is actually a combination of many different denominations. In fact, there are an estimated 33,000 Protestant denominations in existence in the world today.
Roman Catholics and Protestants make up the majority of the Christian faith. Although the foundation of both groups is a devout belief in Jesus Christ, there are many differences between the two religions.
Catholics participate in seven sacraments: Baptism, Holy Communion, Penance, Confirmation, Matrimony, Anointing of the Sick and Holy Orders. While some Protestant denominations reject all sacraments, most participate in only two that can be directly tied back to Jesus in the Bible — Baptism and Holy Communion.
Catholics believe that those who die with venial sin still on their soul may spend time suffering in purgatory before ascending to heaven. Protestants reject the existence of purgatory altogether since there is no mention of it in the Bible.
In the Catholic religion, the Pope acts as the go-between and human spirit of God on earth, and is the leader of the Church. Protestants do not believe in the Pope with the thought that no one should give to any one man what belongs to Jesus alone.
The Roman Catholic Church does not allow priests or other members of the ministry to marry, while most Protestant denominations do. In fact, Protestants have interpreted several Bible passages to mean that it is wrong for anyone to forbid marriage in these circumstances.
Churches and Rituals
Most Roman Catholic Churches are elaborate structures with reproductions of Jesus, Mary and the Saints via statues and through stained glass windows. Many rituals involve Catholics to bow, kneel and pray to these figures. Protestant denominations reject the worship of any man-made reproduction of Jesus or God. Bible scripture states:
Then the Lord said to Moses…”Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold… Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it. And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.” Exodus 20