Baptists form a major branch of Protestantism distinguished by baptizing only professing Christian believers (believer's baptism), and doing so by complete immersion. Baptist churches also generally subscribe to the doctrines of soul competency (the responsibility and accountability of every person before God), sola fide (salvation by just faith alone), sola scriptura (scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice) and congregationalist church government. Baptists generally recognize two ordinances: baptism and communion.
Diverse from their beginning, those identifying as Baptists today differ widely from one another in what they believe, how they worship, their attitudes toward other Christians, and their understanding of what is important in Christian discipleship. Baptist missionaries have spread various Baptist confessions to every continent. The largest voluntary grouping of Baptist churches is the Baptist World Alliance but there are many different