The Sacrament of Baptism

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In the United States Christianity is the largest religious group followed by Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism (Kohut and Rogers). According to the Pew Research Council Christianity was comprised of over 82 percent of the population in America as of March 2002 (Kohut and Rogers). Most of the world’s Christians live in the America’s and Europe (Pew Research Center). However, the population of Christians that currently live in the America’s and Europe is significantly lower than in the early 1900’s (Pew Research Center). Christianity is divided into three main branches: Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants. The Protestants make up the largest branch of the Christian religion in the United States and totaled fifty-two percent of the American population in 2002 (Kohut and Rogers). Catholics come in a close second comprising twenty-four percent of the American Population in March of 2002 (Kohut and Rogers). The majorities of the Christian denominations popular today developed during the five hundred years after the protestant reformation and are part of the protestant denomination (Pew Research Center). Many of the Christian denominations share a lot of the same beliefs; however, there are quite a few topics they disagree on such as the sacrament of baptism. Many Christian denominations practice the tradition of baptism. However, many denominations differ widely on the meaning and significance of the sacrament or ordinance of baptism. Baptism in the Old Testament is used as a symbol of a believer’s devotion to God by washing with water as a sign of purification and consecration. There are many different meanings and techniques to baptism that have been observed by many faiths over thousands of years. Many of the customs and b... ... middle of paper ... .... "Baptism (in the Bible)." New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 56-60. Gale World History In Context. Web. 30 Dec. 2011. Zondervan NIV Study Bible. Zondervan New International Study Bible. Ed. Kenneth L. Barker. 2008. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002. Pew Research Center. Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Christian Population. 19 December 2011. December 2011 . "Sacrament." World Religions. New York: Macmillan Library Reference USA, 1987. Macmillan Compendium. Gale World History In Context. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. Sacrament of Baptism. 2003. .

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