Christians vs Catholics: 16 Major Differences

by Sister McCook
Christians vs Catholics

Christianity is the largest religion in the world with over a billion followers worldwide. Catholicism is the largest denomination of Christianity with over a billion followers worldwide.

While both Christians and Catholics share many common beliefs, there are also some major theological differences between the two faiths.

There are many misconceptions about Christians and Catholics. Some people think that they are the same thing, while others think that there are only minor differences between the two faiths.

In reality, there are quite a few major differences between Christians and Catholics. In this blog post, we will discuss 16 of the most important ones!

Keep in mind that not all Christians and Catholics hold to each of these beliefs, but they do provide a general overview of the key differences between the two faiths.

1. Prayer

Christians pray to God alone. Catholics may also pray to saints and Mary, the mother of Jesus. Saints are people who have been canonized by the Catholic Church and believed to be in heaven. They can intercede on our behalf and help us with prayers.

Christians pray privately, alone, or with other Christians. Catholics also pray privately but they also have a number of prayers that are said as a group. Catholics also say prayers out loud in church, such as the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary.

2. Belief on Salvation

Christians believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Catholics believe that there are many ways to find salvation and that it can be found through different paths.

Salvation is not just about going to heaven when you die, it is also about living a good life and helping others.

Christians believe that Jesus died for their sins and that they are saved by grace through faith. Catholics believe that Jesus died for our sins, but we are also saved by grace through faith and works. We must do good deeds to earn salvation.

Christians believe that once you are saved, you are always saved. Catholics believe that you can lose your salvation if you do not follow the teachings of the Church or if you sin. You must confess your sins to a priest and ask for forgiveness in order to be forgiven and stay saved.

3. Bible’s Authority

Christians believe in the Bible as their sole authority on faith and practice. Catholics also revere the Bible, but they also place a high value on church tradition and the teachings of the Catholic Church. The Bible is not the only source of authority for Catholics but it is one of the most important.

4. Cost of Salvation

Christians believe that salvation is a free gift from God. Catholics believe that good works are necessary for salvation and that it costs something to be saved. You must do good deeds and follow the teachings of the Catholic Church in order to be saved.

5. Belief on Fate

Christians believe in the doctrine of predestination. This means that they believe that God has already predetermined who will be saved and who will not be saved. Catholics do not typically hold to this doctrine.

6. Baptism

Christians baptize infants as a sign of God’s covenant with His people. Catholics also baptize infants, but they do not believe that this is necessary for salvation.

7. Role of Mary

Christians generally do not give Mary as much attention as Catholics do. Catholics place a high value on Mary and consider her to be the “Mother of God.” They often pray to her and ask for her intercession.

8. Purgatory

Christians do not believe in purgatory. Catholics believe that after a person dies, they may go through a period of purification before entering heaven.

9. Eucharist

Christians believe that the bread and wine used in Communion are symbolic of Jesus’ body and blood. Catholics believe that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus during Communion.

10. Confession

Christians typically do not confess their sins to a priest. Catholics are required to confess their sins to a priest in order to receive forgiveness.

11. Priesthood

Christians do not believe in the Catholic concept of the priesthood. Catholics believe that only men can be priests.

12. Marriage

Christians and Catholics have different views on marriage. Christians believe that marriage is a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman. Catholics believe that marriage is a sacrament and that it can be between two people of the opposite sex or the same sex.

13. Salvation for Children

Christians believe that children are born into sin and that they must be baptized in order to receive salvation. Catholics believe that infants are not born into sin and do not need to be baptized in order to go to heaven.

14. Church Hierarchy

Christians do not have a church hierarchy like Catholics do. Catholics have a strict hierarchy of bishops, priests, and deacons.

15. Celibacy

Christians do not require celibacy for their clergy. Catholics believe that celibacy is a higher calling and requires priests to remain unmarried.

16. Geographical Differences

Christians are found all over the world, while the Catholic Church is primarily based in Europe and Latin America.


There are many other differences between Christians and Catholics, but these 16 provide a good overview of the key distinctions between the two faiths.

As you can see, there are some major theological differences that can be difficult to reconcile.

If you have any questions about Christianity or Catholicism, please feel free to contact us! We would be happy to help you learn more about these two great faiths. Thanks for reading! 16 Differences between Christians and Catholics, now you know.

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