A world religion whose adherents, Christians, follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. It has many branches.

Roman Catholicism

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest branch of Christianity. Sometimes shortened to the Catholic Church. Adherents are Catholics.

The global head of the church is the pope. Capitalize the title when referring to the individual: Pope Francis; the pope or the pontiff is acceptable on second mention. Pontiff is not a formal title.

There are various ranks within the church hierarchy including cardinal, bishop and priest. A priest takes the title Father. Capitalize the title when referring to the individual: Bishop Brennan, Father Ted Crilly.

The church’s headquarters, known as the Holy See, is in Vatican City, officially the Vatican City State, a tiny walled enclave in Rome, Italy. The Holy See is sometimes referred to as the Vatican.

Eastern Orthodox Christianity

Sometimes known as the Orthodox Catholic Church. Adherents are Orthodox Christians.

The Greek Orthodox Church refers to the body of several Churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

The Russian Orthodox Church is another Church of the communion.


A form of Christian faith and practice. Adherents are Protestants.

This is not a unified church. There are many denominations, all with differing beliefs and practices.

Members of the hierarchies within different denominations: priest, minister, bishop, pastor