Reformed churches

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The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations characterized by Calvinist doctrines. They are descended from the Swiss Reformation led initially by Huldrych Zwingli and soon spread to the rest of Northern Europe. They were the major Protestant rival to the Lutheran churches[citation needed]. Several of these national or specific language based churches later expanded to worldwide denominations. There are now many different reformed churches. Original Reformed doctrine continues to be reflected in the official confessional, but in some cases is no longer necessarily typical of these churches. A 1999 survey found 746 Reformed denominations worldwide[citation needed].

Contents

History

The first Reformed churches were established in Europe after 1519, and were part of the Protestant Reformation. See Swiss Reformation and History of Calvinism.

Form of doctrine

Reformed doctrine is expressed in various confessions. A few confessions are shared by many denominations. Different denominations use different confessions, usually based on historical reasons. Some of the confessions still commonly in use are (with year of writing):

Forms of government

In contrast to the episcopal polity of the Anglican and many Lutheran and Methodist churches, Reformed churches have two main forms of governance:

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