A Christian denomination is a distinct religious body within Christianity, identified by traits such as a name, organization and doctrine. Individual bodies, however, may use alternative terms to describe themselves, such as church, convention, communion, assembly, house, union, network, or sometimes fellowship. Divisions between one denomination and another are primarily defined by authority and doctrine. Issues regarding the nature of Jesus, Trinitarianism, salvation, the authority of apostolic succession, eschatology, conciliarity, papal supremacy and papal primacy among others may separate one denomination from another. Groups of denominations, often sharing broadly similar beliefs, practices, and historical ties—can be known as "branches of Christianity" or "denominational families" (e.g. Eastern or Western Christianity and their sub-branches). These "denominational families" are often imprecisely also called denominations.
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Christian denominations since the 20th century have often involved themselves in ecumenism. Ecumenism refers to efforts among Christian bodies to develop better understandings and closer relationships. It also refers to efforts toward visible unity in the Christian Church, though the terms of visible unity vary for each denomination of Christianity; the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church each teach visible unity may only be achieved by converting to their denominational beliefs and structure, citing claims of being the one true church. The largest ecumenical organization in Christianity is the World Council of Churches.
The following is not a complete list, but aims to provide a comprehensible overview of the diversity among denominations of Christianity, ecumenical organizations, and Christian ideologies not necessarily represented by specific denominations. Only those Christian denominations, ideologies and organizations with Wikipedia articles will be listed in order to ensure that all entries on this list are notable and verifiable. The denominations and ecumenical organizations listed are generally ordered from ancient to contemporary Christianity.
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