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Catholic Dictionary




The numerous statements of Protestant belief, composed at various times from the Reformation to the present. These creeds have been the principal cohesive and stabilizing force in world Protestantism. Each denomination or each family of denominations has its respective confession of faith. Among these the most important are the Lutheran Augsburg Confession (1530), the Calvinist Catechism of Geneva (1542-45), the Reformed Heidelberg Catechism (1563) and Belgic Confession (1561), the Anglican Thirty-nine Articles (1563), and the Presbyterian Westminster Confession (1648). Since then there have been hundreds of derivative or new confessions of faith issued, periodically revised, and regularly composed as new denominations have come into being.