Timeline of Schisms

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During Period of the Single Church

  • 362-414 Antiochian Schism.
  • 484-519 Acacian Schism.
  • 553-698 Schism of the Three Chapters.
  • 863-867 Photian Schism.
  • 1054 Great Schism between East and West, generally regarded as having been completed by the act of the Fourth Crusade in 1204.

Within Orthodoxy

  • 1265-1310 Arsenite Schism.
  • ca.1666-67 Old Believers became separated after 1666-1667 from the hierarchy of the Church of Russia as a protest against church reforms introduced by Patriarch Nikon of Moscow.
  • 1921 Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC).
  • 1935 Old Calendar Schism, when three bishops declared their separation from the official Church of Greece stating that the calendar change was a schismatic act.
  • 1990 Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP).

Roman Catholic

Roman Catholic Church

  • 1378-1417 Western Great Schism ensues, including simultaneous reign of three Popes of Rome.
  • 1723 The Church of Holland, (or Church of Utrecht) broke with Rome under its own archbishop and hierarchy, becoming the mother church of the Old Catholic Churches.
  • 1889 Federation of Old Catholic Churches, not in communion with Rome, at the Union of Utrecht.

Eastern Catholic Churches


  • 685 John Maron elected first Maronite patriarch, founding the Maronite Catholic Church, which embraced Monothelitism, rejected the teaching of the Fifth Ecumenical Council, and separated from the Orthodox Church.
  • 694 Byzantine army of Justinian II defeated by Maronites, who became fully independent.
  • 1182 Maronites, who assisted the Crusaders during the Crusades, reaffirm their affiliation with Rome in 1182.

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

  • 1596 Union of Brest-Litovsk, several million Ukrainian and Byelorussian Orthodox Christians, living under Polish rule, leave the Church of Constantinople and recognize the Pope of Rome, without giving up their Byzantine liturgy and customs, creating the Uniate church.


Syrian Catholic

Syro-Malankara Catholic

Armenian Catholic

Coptic Catholic

Chaldean Catholic

Ethiopian Catholic


Oriental Orthodox Communion

Church of Alexandria (Coptic)

  • ca.451 Coptic Christianity broke from the Byzantine churches in the wake of the Fourth Ecumenical Council in Chalcedon in 451; Shenouda the Great, abbott of White Monastery in Egypt (d.466), is considered the founder of Coptic Christianity.
British Orthodox Church

Church of Antioch (Syriac)

  • 541 Jacob Baradeus organizes the Non-Chalcedonian Church in western Syria (the "Jacobites"), which spreads to Armenia and Egypt. Church of Antioch (Syriac).
  • 544 Jacob Baradeus consecrates Sergius of Tella as bishop of Antioch, opening the lasting schism between the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Chalcedonian Church of Antioch.
Malankara Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church

Armenian Apostolic Church

  • 554 Church of Armenia (Armenian Apostolic Church) officially breaks with West in 554, during the second Council of Dvin where the dyophysite formula of Chalcedon was rejected.

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

  • 1959 Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, (Abbysinia), is an Oriental Orthodox church in Ethiopia that was part of the Coptic Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Pope Cyril VI.

Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church

  • 1993 Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church was formerly a part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, its autocephaly being reluctantly recognized by the Ethiopian Patriarchate after Eritrea gained its independence in the 1993.

The Church of India (Malankara)


Assyrian Church of the East

  • 410 Council of Seleucia declares Mesopotamian Nestorian bishops independent of Orthodox bishops.
  • 424 Formal separation of the Assyrian Chruch of the East ("Syrian Church" or the "Persian Church"), from the See of Antioch and the western Syrian Church under the Byzantine Emperors, occurred at a synod in 424; (in India, it is known as the Chaldean Syrian Church; In the West it is often known as the Nestorian Church).
  • 484 Synod of Beth Lapat in Persia declares Nestorianism as official theology of Assyrian Church of the East, effectively separating the Assyrian church from the Byzantine church.

Protestant Groups

  • 1517 Lutheran Church founded by Martin Luther, nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to door at Wittenburg, sparking Protestant Reformation.
  • 1525 Anabaptism established; (today's descendants include particularly the Amish, Hutterites and Mennonites).
  • 1534 Church of England (Anglicanism) founded by King Henry VIII.
  • 1541 Calvinism, (the Reformed tradition, the Reformed faith, or Reformed theology) founded, as the French theologian Johannes Calvinus establishes the first Reformed church in Geneva.
  • 1560 Presbyterian religion founded by John Knox in Scotland.
  • 1571 Dutch Reformed Church founded at the Synod of Emden.
  • 1592 Congregationalist religion originated by Robert Brown in Holland.
  • 1609 Baptist religion launched by John Smyth in Amsterdam.
  • ca.1630-40 Puritan movement in England; approximately 20,000 Puritans emigrated to New England in the Great Migration; in 1662 the Puritans (also known as "Dissenters", later "Nonconformists") left or were forced out of the Church of England altogether.
  • 1648 Society of Friends (Quakers) founded by George Fox, as a Nonconformist breakaway movement from English Puritanism.
  • 1744 Methodist religion began by John and Charles Wesley in England; (the movement did not form a separate denomination in England until after John Wesley's death in 1795).
  • 1773 Unitarian denomination dates from the secession of Theophilus Lindsey from the Anglican Church.
  • 1789 Episcopal Church formally separated from the Church of England, so that clergy would not be required to accept the supremacy of the British monarch; a revised version of the Book of Common Prayer was also written for the new church in 1789.
  • 1827 Plymouth Brethren; Anglican priest John Nelson Darby became an influential member of the movement now known as the Plymouth Brethren, and advocate of Dispensational Premillenialism , an innovative Protestant movement that gave rise to Evangelicalism.
  • 1830 Mormon (Latter Day Saints) religion started by Joseph Smith, in Palmyra, New York; Book of Mormon published.
  • 1844 Seventh Day Adventists arose from the Millerite movement of the 1840s, which was part of the wave of revivalism in the United States known as the Second Great Awakening, and was formally established in 1863.
  • 1865 Salvation Army sect began with William Booth in London.
  • 1879 Christian Scientist religion is born, founded by Mary Baker Eddy.
  • 1879 Jehovah's Witnesses founded by Charles Taze Russell.
  • 1906 Pentecostal movement spreads after the Azusa Street Revival (1906-09); also known as "Charismatic Movement" from ca.1960 onwards.
  • 1925 United Church of Canada, the second-largest Christian denomination in Canada after the Roman Catholic Church, is founded as a merger of four Protestant denominations.
  • 1957 United Church of Christ (UCC) is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination principally in the United States, generally considered within the Reformed tradition, formed in 1957 with the union of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches.

See also