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John Calvin
 Calvinism portal

The Reformed churches are a group of Christian Protestant denominations formally characterized by a similar Calvinist system of doctrine, historically related to the churches that first arose especially in the Swiss Reformation led by Huldrych Zwingli and soon afterward appeared in nations throughout Western and Central Europe. Each nation in which the Reformed movement was originally established had its own church government. Several of these national churches have expanded to worldwide denominations and most have experienced splits into multiple denominations. Commitment to teaching the original Calvinism usually continues to be reflected in their official definitions of doctrine, but in some cases is no longer necessarily typical of these churches. A 1999 survey found 746 Reformed denominations worldwide.



The first Reformed churches were established in Europe in the 1500s, in the wake of the Protestant Reformation.

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:

The Reformed Church in Hungary, as well as its sister church in Romania and daughter church in the United States (Hungarian Reformed Church in America), and the Polish Reformed Church are the only Churches in the Reformed Tradition to have retained the office of Bishop.


(The Ninety-Five Theses)

The Reformation

Pre-Reformation movements

Hussites  • Lollards  • Waldensians

Reformation era movements

Anabaptism • Anglicanism • Calvinism • Counter-Reformation • Lutheranism • Polish Brethren • Remonstrants

Reformed churches worldwide

Around the world many churches of Reformed tradition emerged, both by migration and missionary work. Here is a List of Reformed churches.

See also

External links

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