HOME

TheInfoList




Conversion to Christianity is the
religious conversion Religious conversion is the adoption of a set of beliefs identified with one particular to the exclusion of others. Thus "religious conversion" would describe the abandoning of adherence to one denomination and affiliating with another. This m ...
of a previously non-Christian person to
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...

Christianity
. Different sects of Christianity may perform various different kinds of rituals or ceremonies on a convert in order to initiate them into a community of believers. The most commonly accepted ritual of conversion in Christianity is through
baptism Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian rite of initiation, admission and Adoption (theology), adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. It may be pe ...

baptism
, but this is not universally accepted among Christian denominations. A period of instruction and study almost always ensues before a person is formally converted into Christianity and becomes a church member, but the length of this period varies, sometimes as short as a few weeks and possibly less, and other times, up to as long as a year or possibly more. Most mainline Christian denominations will accept conversion into other denominations as valid, so long as a baptism with water in the name of the
Trinity The Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian ...

Trinity
took place, but some may accept a simple profession of faith in Jesus as Lord as being all that was needed for true conversion. Other Christians may not accept conversions performed in other denominations and certain communities may be discriminated against as heretical. This is true for many
nontrinitarian Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazare ...
sects, which many
mainstream Christian Nicene Christianity is a set of Christian doctrinal traditions which reflect the Nicene Creed, which was formulated at the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325 and amended at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381. History By the 2nd and 3 ...
denominations (Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant) reject as having valid forms of conversion. Consequently, many nontrinitarian sects spiritually isolate themselves in that they may only consider their conversions valid and not those of mainstream Christianity. Social scientists have shown great interest in the Christian conversion as a religious experience that believers describe as strengthening their faith and changing their lives.
Christianization Christianization ( or Christianisation) was the conversion of societies to Christianity beginning in late antiquity Late antiquity is a used by historians to describe the time of transition from to the in and adjacent areas bordering th ...
, defined as the "reformulation of social relations, cultural meanings, and personal experience in terms of (commonly accepted or supposed) Christian ideals", should be distinguished from conversion. ''Christianization'' is the broader cultural term, and typically has involved efforts to systematically convert an entire continent or culture from existing beliefs to Christianity.


Methods of conversion


Introduction

Christian denominations vary on the exact procedures of conversion. More traditional Christian groups such as the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic Church
, the
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
,
Lutherans Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology a ...
,
Anglicans Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *W ...
, Methodists, and some
Reformed Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformat ...
Christians consider the
sacrament A sacrament is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ...
of
baptism Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian rite of initiation, admission and Adoption (theology), adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. It may be pe ...

baptism
in the name of the Trinity to be the moment of conversion. All of these groups teach the doctrine of
baptismal regeneration Baptismal regeneration is the name given to doctrines held by major Christian denomination A Christian denomination is a distinct Religion, religious body within Christianity that comprises all Church (congregation), church congregations of the s ...
, that is, once baptized, all past sins, including
original sin Original sin is the Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' a ...
, are washed away and a person becomes justified before God. Through baptism, one is incorporated into the body of believers, called the
Church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is usually used to refer to the p ...

Church
, and may rightly be considered a Christian. Some of these groups may also administer other sacraments in the process of conversion such as
confirmation In Christian denominations that practice infant baptism Infant baptism is the practice of baptising infants or young child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and wi ...

confirmation
. Some Evangelical Christians, like
Baptist Baptists form a major branch of Protestantism, Protestant Christianity distinguished by baptizing professing Christianity, Christian believers only (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism), and doing so by complete Immersion baptism, ...

Baptist
, and
Pentecostals Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholic Church, error ...
, do not believe baptism is necessary for salvation and conversion, but only that a profession of faith is enough. Christians also differ on how old someone must be to convert. More traditional groups of Christians believe conversion is not restricted to age, and tend to baptize infants.


Instructions

Before conversion takes place, converts, also called "catechumens", must undergo a period of instruction. In the Catholic Church, this usually involves spending a few months preparing in
RCIA The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), or ''Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum'', is a process developed by the Catholic Church for prospective religious conversion, converts to Catholicism above the age of infant baptism. Candid ...
(Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), where catechumens spend time learning about the Christian faith and the teachings of the Bible and the Church. In the Orthodox Church, it can take up to a full year of studying and participation before one is baptized. Protestant denominations and other Christian groups have various other ways of instructing converts which may focus heavily on the Bible.


Baptism/Confirmation

There are different modes of baptism in Christianity, these include immersion,
affusion Affusion (la. ''affusio'') is a method of baptism Baptism (from the noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a of and , almost invariably with the use of water, into . It may be performed by or water on the head, or by either partial ...
(pouring), and
aspersion Aspersion (la. ''aspergere/aspersio''), in a religious Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a ...
(sprinkling). The way in which a person is baptized depends on the denomination one enters. Almost all baptisms share in common the use of the Trinitarian formula (in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) by the minister while baptizing the convert. The Roman Catholic Church primarily baptizes with affusion but occasionally does so with immersion. Orthodox Christians and some Eastern Catholics baptize by triple immersion upon invocation of the Trinity; the only time the Orthodox Church permits other forms of baptism is in the case of an emergency. Protestants baptize in a number of different ways. Many Anglicans and Lutherans baptize by affusion, whereas Presbyterians and Congregationalists typically baptize with aspersion. Others, like Methodists, may conduct all three forms of baptism. Many Evangelical Protestants insist that only full immersion baptism is valid, basing this on the New Testament
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
word for baptism "baptizo" (βαπτίζω) which can be translated as "dipping" or "submersion." Depending on which of these denominations one enters, the sacrament of
Confirmation In Christian denominations that practice infant baptism Infant baptism is the practice of baptising infants or young child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and wi ...

Confirmation
, also known as
Chrismation Chrismation consists of the sacrament or mystery in the Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, ...
by eastern Christians, may be immediately administered after the baptism. In the
Latin Catholic Church , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , alt = Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in Lateran , caption = Archbasilica of Saint John ...
, infants who are baptized are not confirmed, but instead must wait until they're in their teens to be confirmed. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, and many
Eastern Catholic The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, Eastern Rite Catholicism, or simply the Eastern Churches and in some historical cases referred to as ''Uniates'', are twenty-three East ...
Churches, infants are Chrismated and communed by a priest or bishop immediately after they are baptized. When an adult convert enters the Catholic or Orthodox Church, they are immediately confirmed after baptism, upon which, a clergy member will anoint the forehead with
olive oil Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olive The olive, botanical name ''Olea europaea'', meaning "European olive", is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomi ...

olive oil
(or in the case of Byzantine Christians, the forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, ears, breast, hands, and feet), calling upon the
Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God in Abrahamic religions, God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. In Judaism, it refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the ...
to seal the convert with his gifts. After confirmation ensues, the convert is invited to partake of
first communion First Communion is a ceremony in some Christianity, Christian traditions during which a person first receives the Eucharist. It is most common in many parts of the Latin Church tradition of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism, Lutheran Church and Angl ...
. These rites usually occur on
Easter Vigil Easter Vigil, also called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter, is a Christian liturgy, liturgy held in Christian worship#Sacramental tradition, traditional Christianity, Christian churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrec ...
. Persons who convert to most mainline Protestant groups will be received via baptism and be initiated further by any traditions the particular denomination holds to.
Oneness Pentecostals Oneness Pentecostalism (also known as Apostolic, Jesus' Name Pentecostalism, or the Jesus Only movement) is a nontrinitarian movement within the Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformatio ...
baptize converts by full immersion in the name of Jesus alone, a departure from the usual form of baptism. They base this off of certain passages found in the
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum), often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament The New T ...
. Unlike most Pentecostals, Oneness Pentecostals believe baptism is necessary for salvation. Although, they do not baptize infants, stressing that conversion is a personal decision.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism ...
(LDS Church) teach that baptism is the first
sacrament A sacrament is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ...
, called an ordinance in LDS theology, following conversion and is required for membership in the LDS Church. Baptism, according to the LDS theology, requires that the convert be
accountable Accountability, in terms of ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'"Et ...
(
credobaptism Believer's baptism (occasionally called credobaptism, from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, ...
), that it be by immersion, and that it be performed by an authorized priesthood holder. As the LDS Church does not recognize the priesthood authority of other churches, all converts, even those from other Christian denominations, are required to be baptized. Following baptism, a convert is confirmed a member of the LDS Church and receives the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the
laying on of hands The laying on of hands is a religious practice. In Judaism Judaism ( he, יהדות, ''Yahadut''; originally from Hebrew , ''Yehudah'', "Kingdom of Judah, Judah", via Ancient Greek, Greek ''Ioudaismos''; the term itself is of Anglo-Latin ...

laying on of hands
of a
Melchizedek Priesthood The priesthood of Melchizedek is a role in Abrahamic religions, modelled on Melchizedek, combining the dual position of king and priest. Hebrew Bible Melchizedek is a king and priest appearing in the Book of Genesis. The name means "King of Rig ...
holder.


Lutheranism

In Lutheranism, conversion or regeneration in the strict sense of the term is the work of divine grace and power by which man, born of the flesh, and void of all power to think, to will, or to do any good thing, and dead in sin is, through the gospel and holy baptism, taken from a state of sin and wrath and spiritual death into a state of spiritual life of faith and grace, rendered able to will and to do what is spiritually good and, especially, made actually to accept the benefits of the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.


Anabaptism

The majority of
Seekers The Seekers, or Legatine-Arians as they were sometimes known, were an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, ea ...
are young adults seeking membership in Old Order Anabaptist Christian denominations value "Having a strong community, being serious about following the Bible and leading a Christian life and a commitment to modesty". The
Beachy Amish The Beachy Amish Mennonites are formally a subgroup of Amish but they are much less traditional than other Amish The Amish (; pdc, Amisch; german: Amische) are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships with Swiss German and A ...
, many of whom conduct their services in English and allow for a limited range of modern conveniences, regularly receive seekers into their churches as visitors, and eventually, as members. Becoming a member involves a proving period and a study of the
Dordrecht Confession of Faith The Dordrecht Confession of Faith is a statement of religious beliefs adopted by Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also re ...
(1633).


Evangelical Christianity

Evangelical Protestants do not consider baptism to be necessary for salvation. Because of this, instead of baptism, a person becomes a Christian the moment they profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Evangelicals base this off of their interpretation of certain verses in the Bible. This may be expressed at some Evangelical church services where the Pastor may conduct an "
altar call An altar call is a tradition in some Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism ...
", inviting non-Christian persons to go up publicly and "receive" Jesus into their hearts to become Christian. As a result of this belief, many Evangelicals do not practice infant baptism and from this they profess one must be able to make the decision on their own to convert to Christianity; other Evangelicals, such as Methodists, practice infant baptism as a celebration of
prevenient grace Prevenient grace (or enabling grace) is a Christian theological Christian theology is the theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an Discipline (a ...
. Nevertheless, all Evangelicals recognize the form of
believer's baptism Believer's baptism (occasionally called credobaptism, from the Latin word meaning "I believe") is the Christianity, Christian practise of baptism as is understood by many evangelical denominations, particularly those that descend from the Anabap ...
as a public pronouncement of faith in Christ.


Conversion between denominations

Most denominations accept one's baptism performed by another denomination. Nearly always, the baptism must have been with water and performed in the name of the
Trinity The Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian ...

Trinity
. Such converts are usually received by a formal rite which normally also includes taking communion in the denomination and possibly being confirmed. The similarity of belief necessary for acceptance of a baptism under a different denomination is called "Like Faith and Practice" or sometimes "Right Method, Right Medium, Right Meaning".


Catholicism

The Catholic Church considers all forms of baptism with water, including full immersion, affusion, and aspersion, that are done in the name of the Trinity as valid. Protestants (Lutherans, Moravians, Anglicans,
Presbyterians Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form ...
,
Baptists Baptists form a major branch of Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Cath ...
,
Assemblies of God The Assemblies of God (AG), officially the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, is a group of over 144 autonomous self-governing national groupings of churches that together form the world's largest Pentecostal Pentecostalism or Classical Pente ...
, Methodists, etc.) who convert to Catholicism are usually not baptized, but instead are asked to make a simple profession of faith at
Mass Mass is the quantity Quantity is a property that can exist as a multitude or magnitude, which illustrate discontinuity and continuity. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more", "less", or "equal", or by assigning a numerical value ...
on an ordinary Sunday. Confirmation usually follows (though not always), and the convert proceeds to receive first communion. Eastern Christians (Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and
Assyrians Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria, a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire * Assyrian people, an ethnic group indigenous to the Middle East * Assyrian Church (disambiguation) * Assyrian language (disambiguation) * SS Assyrian, SS ''Assyrian'', seve ...
), are only asked to make a simple profession of faith and then begin participation in the
Eucharist The Eucharist (; grc-gre, εὐχαριστία, eucharistía, thanksgiving) also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper, among other names, is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monothe ...

Eucharist
without having to be confirmed due to the Catholic Church recognizing eastern Christian sacraments. Eastern Christians who convert to the Catholic Church are automatically enrolled into the eastern rite corresponding to the Church they originated from regardless of what
sui juris ''Sui iuris'', also spelled as ''sui juris'' ( or ), is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, know ...
Church they entered the Catholic Church through. The amount of instruction before reception varies depending on how active the person has been in their Christian life, and how informed they are about the faith. Validly baptized persons coming from previous denominations do not have to be enrolled in
RCIA The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), or ''Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum'', is a process developed by the Catholic Church for prospective religious conversion, converts to Catholicism above the age of infant baptism. Candid ...
because the Church does not consider them catechumens since their baptism has already made them Christians. Private instructions may be given by a priest, which can last from a few weeks to a few months at most. After instructions have ensued, the person may be asked to pick a sponsor for confirmation if the pastor decides to perform the sacrament.
Mormons Mormons are a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sanctified places, prophecy, ...
,
Jehovah's Witnesses Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian Millenarianism (also millenarism), from Latin ''mīllēnārius'' "containing a thousand", is the belief by a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious ...
,
Oneness Pentecostals Oneness Pentecostalism (also known as Apostolic, Jesus' Name Pentecostalism, or the Jesus Only movement) is a nontrinitarian movement within the Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformatio ...
,
Christadelphians The Christadelphians (; or Christadelphianism) are a restorationist and millenarian Christian group who hold a view of biblical unitarianism. There are approximately 50,000 Christadelphians in around 120 countries. The movement developed in ...
,
Christian Scientist Christian Science is a set of beliefs and practices belonging to the metaphysical family of new religious movement A new religious movement (NRM), also known as a new religion or an alternative spirituality, is a religious or spirituality, ...
, and other groups who hold to nontrinitarianism and/or who do not baptize in the "proper" Trinitarian formula are received into the Catholic Church through baptism due to the Catholic Church not recognizing nontrinitarian baptisms.
Quakers Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Ref ...

Quakers
and members of the
Salvation Army Salvation (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the R ...

Salvation Army
are also baptized because neither church practices baptism. Converts into any of the Eastern Catholic Churches, 23 sui juris Churches in full communion with the
Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chu ...

Bishop of Rome
, are usually received by the traditions of that particular Church.


Eastern Orthodoxy

In the Eastern Orthodox Churches there are different opinions held by bishops and theologians on how to receive Christians coming from other denominations. Some will only accept Eastern Orthodox baptism done by triple immersion, and thus will rebaptize all converts. Generally, most jurisdictions will accept baptism done in another denomination by
economy An economy (; ) is an area of the production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products ...
, as long as it has been done with water in the name of the Trinity; this is the position held by the
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople ( el, Οἰκουμενικὸν Πατριαρχεῖον Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, translit=Oikoumenikón Patriarkhíon Konstantinoupóleos, ; la, Patriarchatus Oecumenicus Constanti ...
. Most converts from other Christian denominations with baptisms in the Trinitarian formula (Catholics, Protestants, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrians) are received by
chrismation Chrismation consists of the sacrament or mystery in the Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, ...
and a profession of faith. Specifically, those who are baptized in the Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Old Catholic, Moravian, Anglican, Methodist, Reformed, Presbyterian, Brethren, Assemblies of God, or Baptist traditions can be received into the Orthodox Church through the sacrament of
Chrismation Chrismation consists of the sacrament or mystery in the Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, ...
. Confirmations of non-Eastern Orthodox Churches are not ordinarily deemed valid by the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Some Eastern Orthodox groups, such as the
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (russian: Ру́сская Правосла́вная Це́рковь Заграни́цей, lit=Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, translit=Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov' Zagranitsey), also called Ru ...
(ROCOR), a semi-autonomous part of the
Russian Orthodox Church , native_name_lang = ru , image = Moscow July 2011-7a.jpg , imagewidth = , alt = , caption = Cathedral of Christ the Saviour The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour ( rus, Храм Хр ...

Russian Orthodox Church
since 2007, chooses to rebaptize all converts to Orthodoxy including Protestants and Catholics as well as most Oriental Orthodox. Since ROCOR is a fully canonical part of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox Christians who converted from another Christian denomination without being baptized again, but were received simply by chrismation or confession in their respective jurisdiction, are still communed by ROCOR clergy since Orthodox are not to doubt the validity of someone's conversion to the Orthodox faith. The Eastern Orthodox Church baptizes all Christians coming from nontrinitarian denominations, such as the LDS Church, because the Eastern Orthodox Church does not consider nontrinitarian baptisms as valid.


Oriental Orthodoxy

Oriental Orthodox reception of converts from other Christian denominations varies greatly. The
Coptic Orthodox Church The Coptic Orthodox Church ( cop, Ϯⲉⲕ̀ⲕⲗⲏⲥⲓⲁ ⲛ̀ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ ⲛ̀ⲟⲣⲑⲟⲇⲟⲝⲟⲥ, translit=Ti.eklyseya en.remenkimi en.orthodoxos, lit=the Egyptian Orthodox Church; ar, الكنيسة القبطي ...

Coptic Orthodox Church
accepts all baptisms done in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and since April 2017, accepts those baptisms done in the Roman Catholic Church. The
Armenian Apostolic , native_name_lang = hy , icon = Armenian Apostolic Church logo.png , icon_width = 100px , icon_alt = , image = Էջմիածնի_Մայր_Տաճար.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , al ...
, the
Syriac Orthodox Church , native_name_lang = syc , image = Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate 2k18.jpg , imagewidth = , alt = Cathedral of Saint George , caption = Cathedral of Saint George, Damascus, Syria ...
, and the
Malankara Orthodox Church The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC) also known as the Malankara Church and the Indian Orthodox Church, is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian churches adher ...
are generally willing to accept any baptism done with water in the name of the Trinity.


Protestantism

Most
mainline Protestant The mainline Protestant churches (also called mainstream Protestant and sometimes oldline Protestant) are a group of Protestant denominations in the United States that contrast in history and practice with evangelical Evangelicalism (), eva ...
groups hold that baptism performed with water in the name of the Trinity is valid and will accept converts who had been baptized within a previous Christian denominations in accordance with their particular customs. Some
Evangelical Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salv ...
groups like
Baptist Baptists form a major branch of Protestantism, Protestant Christianity distinguished by baptizing professing Christianity, Christian believers only (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism), and doing so by complete Immersion baptism, ...

Baptist
s and
Pentecostals Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholic Church, error ...
do not consider baptism done by sprinkling or pouring as valid and might rebaptize a convert from another denomination by full immersion.


Others

Mormons do not recognize baptisms done in Christian denominations and will rebaptize using the Trinitarian formula (although they reject the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity) and confirm converts. Oneness Pentecostals only accept baptism done in the name of Jesus, and subsequently, baptize converts from previous denominations who were not previously baptized in this particular formula. Jehovah's Witnesses baptize all converts including those already baptized in previous denominations.


Examples from the New Testament

The conversion of the
Apostle Peter An apostle (), in its most literal sense, is an emissary, from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located ...

Apostle Peter
, as recorded in the Bible, serves as a classic example of "a previously non-Christian person entering upon the Christian way of life": The Gospels speak of the coming of the Kingdom with power from on high and while Jesus was alive on earth he was still under the Jewish Law being obedient to its rules and regulations. Jesus though was given all authority in heaven and on earth, even the authority to forgive sins which before only God could do. While alive on the cross he did forgive the thief who asked him because he had that authority. In , Jesus' last command was for his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything he had commanded. In we see the start of the Christian church with the Holy Spirit coming down, and Peter preaching to the crowd about how their sins, along with the help of wicked men, crucified the savior. Their response was "what shall we do?" Peter's response to their faith was, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Another dramatic conversion to Christianity occurred in the life of the
Apostle Paul Paul; el, Παῦλος, translit=Paulos; cop, ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ; he, פאולוס השליח, name=, group= (born Saul of Tarsus;; ar, بولس الطرسوسي; el, Σαῦλος Ταρσεύς, Saũlos Tarseús; tr, Tarsuslu Pavlus A ...
whose formal name had been Saul of Tarsus. He was a
zealot The Zealots were a political movement A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or social values. Political movements are usually in opposition to an element of the status quo  and are oft ...
for the cause of
Second Temple Judaism Second Temple Judaism is Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social sy ...
who had been "breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord". While traveling to
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , m ...

Damascus
to arrest
Jewish Christians Jewish Christians ( he, יהודים נוצרים, yehudim notzrim) were the followers of a Jewish religious sect that emerged in Judea Judea or Judaea, and the modern version of Judah (; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew ...
, he fell to the ground upon being surrounded by a bright light "from heaven". He heard a voice accusing him: "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" The experience rendered him temporarily blind. The voice directed him to go on to Damascus where he was cured and baptized by
Ananias of Damascus Ananias ( ; grc, Ἀνανίας from Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Isra ...
, was described as being filled with the
Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God in Abrahamic religions, God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. In Judaism, it refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the ...

Holy Spirit
, and began to passionately proclaim the Christian
gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel#REDIRECT The gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Te ...

gospel
(good news). In the book of Romans there is a description of what transpires through water baptism. We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? (repentance) Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Being immersed in water through baptism is like Jesus being buried in the tomb and being brought up out of the water is like Jesus' resurrection to a new life, i.e., born again by water and Spirit) Hanigan perceives a common "death and rebirth" experience in these and other conversions which he describes as "encounters with the living God". His analysis is that these individuals responded not so much out of a sense of guilt, but from their awe, reverence, and holy fear of God's presence. The pattern, he writes, begins with God taking initiative in the individual's life. Then, the person responds by acknowledging and confessing personal lostness and sinfulness, and then accepting a call to holiness.


See also

*
Christianization Christianization ( or Christianisation) was the conversion of societies to Christianity beginning in late antiquity Late antiquity is a used by historians to describe the time of transition from to the in and adjacent areas bordering th ...
* Conversion of the Jews *
Credo In Christian liturgy Liturgy is the customary public worship performed by a religious group. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a community, communal response to and participation in the sacred through activities reflecting praise, tha ...

Credo
* Engel Scale *
Forced conversion Forced conversion is the adoption of a different religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sa ...
* List of converts to Christianity * Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Conversion To Christianity