Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church or Netherlands Reformed Church (in Dutch: Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk (NHK)) is a denomination of Christian Protestantism based on the teachings of John Calvin. It is the oldest Reformed church in the Netherlands and formerly enjoyed status as the state church. It was founded in 1618 and became the state religion in 1651. It has 2.3 million members and 1350 churches.
The church has undergone numerous schisms throughout its history. The first in 1618 led to the Remonstrant church. Other significant schisms include the Afscheiding (Separation) in 1834 and in the Doleantie (Sorrow) led by Abraham Kuyper in 1886.
On 1 May 2004 the church merged with the Reformed Church in the Netherlands (Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland, GKN) and the Dutch Lutheran Church (Evangelisch-Lutherse Kerk in het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden). Since 1961 the church had been going through an organizational process to this end. The new name is Protestant Church of the Netherlands (Protestantse Kerk in Nederland, PKN).
There is disagreement on whether a parish of the current Dutch Reformed Church, as such can decide not to join the PKN, while keeping the church building and other properties, or that only individual members can quit and start or join another church.
For a parish of the current Reformed Church in the Netherlands the former is possible, now and during a transition period of 10 years.
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