Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure used to deprive, suspend, or limit membership in a religious community or to restrict certain rights within it, in particular those of being in communion with other members of the congregation, and of receiving the sacraments.
It is practiced by all of the ancient churches (such as the Catholic Church, Oriental Orthodox churches and the Eastern Orthodox churches) as well as by other Christian denominations, but it is also used more generally to refer to similar types of institutional religious exclusionary practices and shunning among other religious groups. The Amish have also been known to excommunicate members that were either seen or known for breaking rules, or questioning the church, a practice known as shunning. Jehovah's Witnesses use the term disfellowship to refer to their form of excommunication.
The word excommunication means putting a specific individual or group out of communion. In some denominations, excomm