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Difference and similarities between Catholic and Protestant churches.
Protestant Luther Christian Church Altar

Difference and similarities between Catholic and Protestant churches.


History of the churches

The Catholic Church, is the first and oldest form of Christianity, which was founded by  Jesus through the apostle Peter. They are in full Communion with the Pope who’s the Leader of the church and the successor of the Apostle Peter.

Peter was pronounced the first Pope by Jesus according to Matthew 16:18-19: “And I tell you, you are כיפא (Kepha) (Aramaic for “rock”), and on this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’”

The word Catholic comes from the Greek word καθολικός, meaning “general; universal”. The earliest use of the word Catholic was in the letter written by Ignatius  to Christians in Smyrna around 106 AD. Theodosius IEmperor of Rome from 379 to 395 reserved the name “Catholic Christian” for the religion which was delivered to the Romans by the Apostle Peter.

The word Protestant is gotten from the Latin word protestatio meaning Declaration or Protest. It refers to group of Christians who broke apart from the Catholic Church doing the Reformation and formed their own Christian Faith.

They originated in Germany in the 16th century by Martin Luther during the Reformation. The movement started when Martin Luther wrote ninety-five theses against the Catholic Church, denying the Papal authority and part of Catholic doctrines.

Differences between Catholic and Protestant churches

The Protestants believe that the Bible is the  “Sola Skriptura”. They believe and practice only what is written in the Bible because they believe it’s only through the Bible you have good Communion with God.

The Catholic Church doesn’t believe or practice only what is in the Bible. They also have the Catholic tradition which were passed down from the Apostles of Jesus to this generation.

The Protestants denies the Papal authority and doesn’t believe in the heirarchy of priest. They don’t practice central authority, they believe everyone is equal.

The Catholic Church sees the Pope as the successor of Peter and the Leader of the church. They also have heirarchy of priest in which higher priests have power over the lower priests.

The Protestant Churches practice only two sacraments, the baptism and Eucharist.

The Catholic Church practices up to seven sacraments.

The Protestant Churches doesn’t believe in the transubstantiation of the Bread and wine into the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. They practice the Eucharist as a symbolic act. They also practice open Communion whereby everyone is free to receive the Communion when being shared.

The Catholics believe that during the consecration, the bread and wine transforms into the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. They also practice closed Communion whereby only Catholic faithful who are ready and are in full grace can take the holy Communion.

Protestant Churches believe that Virgin Mary is just a normal woman and venerating her is unbiblical. They believe praying to her is also unbiblical, every human being should pray to God directly. They believe Mary needs salvation just like everyone else.

The Catholic Church honors and venerates Virgin Mary and reveres her as Queen of heaven. They pray to her to intercede for them meaning that they pray to God through her.

The Catholic Church also pray to Saints to intercede for them. The Saints are Dead people who lived a holy Life and are believed to be in heaven. They are canonized after their death when they meet the criteria which includes performing of miracles that is scientifically impossible.

The Protestant believes that praying to Saints,Mary and Angels are unbiblical, prayer should be only between God and Man.

The priest in the Catholic Church are not allowed to marry, it is seen as symbol of undivided succession of Christ.

On the other hand Protestant priests are allowed to marry.

The Catholic continues to maintain the Apostolic succession that is, they keep maintaining the order and blessings of the priesthood from the Apostles to this generation.

During the Reformation, the Protestant broke apart from the Catholic Church, denying it’s doctrines thereby breaking apart from the Apostolic succession.

The Catholic Church believe that there’s purgatory where people who die with menial sin suffers for a while before going to heaven. The Protestant Churches doesn’t believe in such doctrine,they believe there’s only heaven and hell.

Similarities between Catholic Church and Pentecostal Churche

  • Both churches are Christians and they both worship in the church,chapel and cathedral.
  • They both believe in the death of Jesus Christ for salvation and believe in his second coming.
  • They both believe in the holy Trinity
  • They both believe that sin came into the world through Adam.

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