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Today, there are officially more than 30,000 different Christian churches,all teaching different doctrines. How did this splintering and division happen?  It all began about 400 years ago…

If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex- monk of the Catholic Church, in the year 1517. This is the oldest of the Protestant churches and began the splintering process.

The Anabaptist religion splintered from the Lutherans in 1520, foundered by Nicholas Storchand Thomas Munzer.

If you are a Mennonite your religion is an offshoot of the Anabaptist church foundered in 1525 and takes it’s name from Menno Simons a former Catholic priest.

If you are Anglican, you belong to the Church of England and your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to remarry.

If you are a Presbyterian, your religion was founded by John Knox in Scotland in the year 1560.

If you are a Congregationalist, your religion was originated by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582.

If you are a Protestant Episcopalian, your religion was an offshoot of the Church of England founded by Samuel Seabury in the American colonies in the 17th century.

If you are Baptist,you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1605.

If you are of the Dutch Reformed church,you recognize Michaelis Jones as founder, because he originated your religion in New York in 1628.

If you are a Quaker, your religion was foundered in 1647 by George Fox in England.

If you are Amish, your Church was foundered by Jacob Anman in 1693.

If you are a Methodist, your religion was launched by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1744.

If you are a Unitarian, Theophilus Lindley founded your church in London in 1774.

If you are Episcopalian your religion was foundered in 1784 by Samuel Seabury in the American Colonies and is an offshoot of the Church of England.

If you are a Mormon (Latter Day Saints),Joseph Smith started your religion in Palmyra, N.Y.,in 1829.

If you worship with the Salvation Army, your sect began with William Booth in London in 1865.

If you are a Christian Scientist, you look to 1879 as the year in which your religion was born and to Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy as its founder.

If you are a member of the Assemblies of God, your religion was foundered by Charles Parham in Topeka, Kansas, in 1901.

If you belong to the Church of the Nazarene, your religion was started in 1908.

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness, your religion was foundered by Charles Taze Russell in 1931.

If you have stopped attending church, you founded your own religion and appointed yourself pope on day/month/year?

If you are Catholic,you belong to the Church that was founded around the year 33 by Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Jesus appointed the first Pope(Matthew 16:19) and as Catholics we can trace our apostolic lineage from Peter to Pope Francis. There is something incredibly beautiful and inspiring about that.

Until the year 1054 all Christians were united in one Church. The major splintering that has taken place since 1517 when Martin Luther walked away from the Catholic Church and started his own following, the first protestant denomination, has been a failed experiment.  Today there are between 23,000 and 40, 000 Protestant denominations. Let us pray for Christian unity.

Pope Francis is already captivating the world in his early days. I pray he continues to, so together, we may all re-prose the genius of Catholicism to the people of our times.

–Matthew Kelly
Be Bold. Be Catholic.

- Some additional information added by JenniferZubrack.