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History



Early Developments

The Reformers faced challenges not just from the Catholic Church, but also from a movement of Anabaptists. After a period of enthusiasm, Reformed churches entered a period of focus on correct doctrine that has come to characterize many people’s opinions of them today.

Schisms and Sects

In Europe, Reformed and Lutheran churches failed to unify. In the United States there have been a series of divisions, centering on the Reformed churches' responses to various revival movements, and on the issue of race.

Missions and Expansion

Reformed churches spread quickly in Switzerland, parts of Germany, the Netherlands, and North America. United by a common belief system, the churches took on slightly different forms based on local context.

Exploration and Conquest

Reformed and Presbyterian churches played a role in most of the major colonial and imperial expansions of Europe and North America. They are implicated in all the positive and negative aspects of these conquests.

Modern Age

Like all mainline denominations, the Reformed and Presbyterian churches are experiencing numerical decline in Europe and North America, and growing in the global south.

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