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one of the movements within Calvinism that arose in England in the second half of the 16th century as a radical faction in Puritanism. The most eminent of the founders was R. Brown (hence, Brownists, the other name for Congregationalists). During the English bourgeois revolution of the 17th century the group acted as a political party. The Congregationalists found their second homeland in the English colonies of North America.
Each Congregationalist congregation is autonomous, considers Christ at its head, and determines for itself its form of worship and creed, selects its leaders and a pastor, accepts and expels members, and does not acknowledge subordination to a presbytery, as do the Presbyterians. However, each Congregationalist congregation “covenants” its religious beliefs and worship with other Congregationalist congregations. In practice, Congregationalists are orthodox Calvinist Protestants who follow the Savoy Confession (1658, London), formed according to the example of the Calvinist Presbyterian Westminister Confession, but replacing the Presbyterian church organization with the Congregationalist organization.
Congregationalist congregations are found mainly in English-speaking countries and have approximately 2 million members. The International Congregational Council was founded in 1891, with its center in London. Congregationalists are active in the ecumenical movement.
A. N. CHANYSHEV