Christian faith and disabilities
The Christian response to persons with disabilities is shown here on sub-pages listed according to major denominational groupings. Christianity began with the belief among a group of Jewish disciples of Jesus of Nazareth that he had been raised from the dead and thus proclaimed by God to be the long-awaited Messiah (Christ). Quickly spreading to Gentiles (non-Jews) throughout the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church had its headquarters in Rome. With the fracturing of the Empire came also the Orthodox churches which did not recognize the Bishop of Rome as the head of the church. In the 16th century, a Reformation movement resulted in national churches on the European continent based on the leadership and theology of Martin Luther (Lutheran) and John Calvin (Reformed). Another major wing of the Reformation resulted from a mixture of Catholic and Reformed theology in the Church of England (Anglican or Episcopal). In the 18th century, a revival movement in the Church of England resulted in the Methodist churches. A more radical wing of the 16th century, labeled “Anabaptist,” resulted in Mennonite and related groups. Anabaptism represented a decisive break from the state churches of Christendom and thus paved the way for a whole host of other groups labeled “free” churches (as opposed to state churches). Among these groups are Baptists, Brethren, Churches of Christ, Pentecostals, Disciples of Christ, and others. More recent indigenous churches, particularly on the African continent could be considered among the Free Churches as well.