(LIVE SCIENCE) -- Followers of Jesus span the globe. But the global body of more than 2 billion Christians is separated into thousands of denominations. Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Baptist, Apostolic, Methodist — the list goes on. Estimations show there are more than 200 Christian denominations in the U.S. and a staggering 45,000 globally, according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. So why does Christianity have so many branches?
A cursory look shows that differences in belief, power grabs and corruption all had a part to play.
But on some level, differentiation and variety have been markers of Christianity since the very beginning, according to Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor emeritus of church history at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. "There's never been a united Christianity," he told Live Science.
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