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QUESTION: Dear Jim

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholicism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism

What are the Similarities and Differences in Catholicism and Protestantism ?

Are there different churches for both ?. i.e. Catholics go for worship and praying the all mighty to a different church and Protestants go to a different church ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: My area is Biblical Studies, not general theology or church history, so I will answer the Bible part of this question -- only.
The New Testament canon is the same for all branches of the church, Orthodox, Protestant, Catholic and Anabaptist.
Until the Protestant Reformation the canon of the Bible for the Western Church had never been formally set.  Luther, Zwingli and the other early Protestant reformers set the canon for the Old Testament as the Jewish canon, though in the Christian order of books.  This includes a shorter version of Daniel and Esther.  The Protestant Bibles were published with the other texts common in Bibles up to that time in a separate section between the testaments, labeled the Apocrypha.  This remains the standard format for the Anglican Bibles.  The tradition of printing Bibles without the Apocrypha began in the United States of America in the early 19th century.
In response the Roman Catholic church set their canon at the Council of Trent.  They included most, but not all, of the extra books in the Protestant Apocrypha, and they kept these books scattered through their Old Testament.  This includes the longer version of Daniel and Esther, as Well as Wisdom, Sirach, and 1&2 Maccabees.  They excluded 2 Esdras (4 Ezra), Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah and the prayer of Manasses.  In a spirit of Ecumenecism, during Vatican 2, the Catholics allowed for their extra books to be labeled "Deuterocanon", a move roundly criticized by the Orthodox, who allow for no secondary status to these books.
Check the Apocrypha section of the New Revised Standard Version for more detail.
I hope this is helpful.
Jim Miller

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Jim

Thank you.

Christianity Religion is broadly divided into two different Divisions  or Communities viz Catholics and Protestants.

This are my views mentioned below from my side.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God has founded the religion Christianity. Mother Mary is Mother of the Lord. Both are Great. The Holy Churches are open to all whether Catholics or Protestants and not only Catholics or Protestants but to all other religions.

I personally born Hindu religion by birth visit Different churches
St Lewis Church, Mount Mary Church, St Michael Church. The Dear Friends, Brothers and Sisters of those churches allow me to enter the church, pray and worship before the All Mighty. I get mental peace. They do not stop me to enter the church just because i am from a different religion.

I personally feel Catholics should be allowed to visit the Protestants Churches and Protestants should be allowed to enter the Catholics Churches and they should do this.

I also personally feel there should be a common church for both the communities and not different churches for the Catholics and Protestants communities.

Note : Mother Mary is Mother of the Lord itself. Both are Great.
God is Great. Regarding my above opinion and views, can you please reply me with your views ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: This is outside my area of expertise.
I can tell you this, here in the USA, Catholics and Protestants are frequent visitors in each other's churches, usually for weddings and funerals.  However, Catholics forbid Protestants from taking Communion, and forbid their members from taking Communion in Protestant churches.  Also, some Protestant churches have open Communion, but others forbid non-members from taking Communion.
As for Mary, most Protestants are VERY resistant to placing her in the position you have her.  They allow for her to be an important part of the Gospel story, but with no greater role.
But, as I say, this is not my area.
Jim Miller

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Jim

Thank you.

Statistically if we take a count of Total Number of Catholics and Total Number of Protestants in all countries, which will be more in number ?.

This can be calculated by the simple mathematical formula of summation.

Just As a example,

1. Country : USA Total Number of Catholics : 2000000. Total Number of Protestants : 1500000.
2. Country : United Kingdom Total Number of Catholics : 1500000. Total Number of Protestants : 2000000.

Total Number of Catholics in the world = Sum of Catholics in every country.
Total Number of Protestants in the world = Sum of Protestants in every country.

As we know, Every Christian baby born in a family will be either a Catholic or a Protestant.

Note : The above example does not show any real figures, the numbers shown are taken just for computation.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
This is outside my area of expertise, and you don't have to do the counting yourself.  There are organizations which do it for you.  The last time I checked, which was about 11 years ago, the world total for Catholics was a little larger than the world total for Protestants + Anglicans + Orthodox + others that identify as Christian.  At that time the world total of Catholics was also greater than the world total for all types of Muslim.  Likewise, the Catholics outnumbered the total for Hindus, and the same for Buddhists.
The problem with these numbers is that the Catholic Church counts all those baptized at birth, whether or not they continue to consider themselves Catholic.  Some have converted to Protestantism, other religions or atheism.  Some are agnostic or they do not care.  But then, these statistics deal likewise with Protestants, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists.  Most of those who are not in the religion of their birth tend to be counted twice.
But, this question should be addressed to someone who actually deals with such statistics.
Jim Miller

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