There are many different denominations within Christianity. Each one has their own set of dogma, their own rituals and their own methodologies. Sometimes these differences are small and unnoticed by outside observers. There is, after all, little that someone unfamiliar with Christianity would find different between a Catholic and Lutheran service. In other cases, however, Christian denominations seem to handle services and dogma so differently that an outsider would wonder how on earth the denominations are part of the same religion. Pentecostal services, after all, are done wildly differently than those in an Eastern Orthodox Church.
For most people, the differences between denominations are of passing interest at best. People know that they are Baptist or Methodist or Presbyterian and rarely give too much thought to what differentiates them from the other denominations. They think even more rarely about why there are different denominations in the first place.
Permanent splits in a religion are referred to as “schisms.” These schisms may be over minor dogmatic details or over central religious beliefs. They occur rarely and are noteworthy when they occur. Christianity has suffered from a small handful of these schisms each of which has left a lasting mark on the religion. Here are four schisms in Christianity.