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Protestant vs. Anglican: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on February 20, 2024
Protestantism is a branch of Christianity that originated with the Reformation, distinct from Catholicism; Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity embodying both Protestant and Catholic characteristics, originating in England.

Key Differences

Protestantism, emerging from the Reformation, emphasizes direct faith in God and the authority of the Bible. Anglicanism, while part of this Reformation, retains many traditional Catholic practices and hierarchical structures.
The Protestant Church believes in the priesthood of all believers, minimizing the role of clergy compared to Catholicism. Anglicanism, although Protestant, maintains a structured clergy system similar to Catholicism, including bishops, priests, and deacons.
Protestant churches often have varied worship styles and doctrines. Anglicanism, in contrast, follows a more uniform liturgy and practice, as seen in the Book of Common Prayer, blending Catholic and Protestant elements.
Protestant theology typically rejects the authority of the Pope, focusing on scripture as the primary source of religious authority. Anglicanism, while autonomous from Rome, often upholds traditions that mirror Catholic practices, albeit with its distinct governance.

Comparison Chart


Emerged from the Reformation
Developed in England during Reformation


Bible as the sole authority
Bible, tradition, and bishops’ authority

Clergy Structure

Generally lacks a hierarchical structure
Retains a hierarchy (bishops, priests)

Worship Style

Diverse, varies by denomination
More uniform, uses Book of Common Prayer

Relationship with Rome

Rejects Papal authority
Autonomy from Rome, yet retains traditions

Protestant and Anglican Definitions


Relating to or belonging to any of the Protestant churches.
The Protestant ethic was influential in shaping his values.


Relating to the doctrines, liturgy, or practices of the Anglican Church.
They appreciated the Anglican tradition of choral evensong.


A member of a Christian church founded on the principles of the Reformation.
She was a devout Protestant, regularly attending the local Lutheran church.


Of or relating to the English Church after its break with the Pope.
The Anglican reformers sought a middle way between Rome and Protestantism.


Characterized by the rejection of the authority of the Pope and an emphasis on the Bible.
Protestant beliefs shaped much of early American history.


Embodying the characteristics of both Protestantism and Catholicism as in the Anglican Communion.
The Anglican liturgy is a blend of Protestant simplicity and Catholic ritual.


Pertaining to the movement within Christianity that broke away from the Catholic Church in the 16th century.
The Protestant Reformation drastically changed the religious landscape of Europe.


Pertaining to the Church of England or any Church in communion with it.
He was ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church.


A person who advocates or adheres to Protestant principles.
As a Protestant, she held strong opinions about church autonomy.


A member of the Anglican Church.
Anglicans worldwide are part of a diverse and global community.


A member of a Western Christian church whose faith and practice are founded on the principles of the Reformation, especially in the acceptance of the Bible as the sole source of revelation, in justification by faith alone, and in the universal priesthood of all the believers.


Of or characteristic of the Church of England or any of the churches related to it in origin and communion, such as the Episcopal Church.


(Archaic) Of or relating to England or the English.


A member of the Church of England or of any of the churches related to it.


English; of or pertaining to England or the English nation; especially, pertaining to, or connected with, the established church of England; as, the Anglican church, doctrine, orders, ritual, etc.


Pertaining to, characteristic of, or held by, the high church party of the Church of England.


A member of the Church of England.
Whether Catholics, Anglicans, or Calvinists.


In a restricted sense, a member of the High Church party, or of the more advanced ritualistic section, in the Church of England.


A Protestant who is a follower of Anglicanism


Of or pertaining to or characteristic of the Anglican church;
An Anglican Bishop


Do Protestants recognize the Pope?

No, Protestant denominations generally reject Papal authority.

What differentiates Protestant churches from Anglican churches?

Protestant churches generally emphasize scripture and reject Papal authority, while Anglican churches blend Protestant doctrine with traditional Catholic practices.

What's the role of bishops in Anglican Churches?

Bishops play a significant role in Anglican governance and liturgy, unlike in many Protestant denominations.

Who are Anglicans?

Members of a Christian denomination that combines Protestant beliefs with traditional Catholic practices, primarily in the Church of England.

What is the Book of Common Prayer?

A liturgical book used in Anglican worship, containing prayers and services.

What is Protestantism?

A Christian movement that originated during the Reformation, emphasizing the Bible and individual faith over church tradition.

Is Anglicanism considered a Protestant denomination?

Yes, Anglicanism is part of the Protestant tradition but retains many Catholic elements.

Can Anglicans be considered both Protestant and Catholic?

Yes, Anglicanism embodies elements of both Protestant and Catholic traditions.

What caused the Protestant Reformation?

Disputes over doctrines, church corruption, and the authority of the Pope led to the Protestant Reformation.

Are Anglican services similar to Catholic Mass?

Anglican services, while unique, share similarities with Catholic Mass, incorporating both Protestant and Catholic elements.

How do Protestants view salvation?

Protestants typically believe in salvation by faith alone, without the need for intercession by the Church.

How do Anglican beliefs about the Eucharist differ from Protestant views?

Anglicans often view the Eucharist as a sacramental mystery, while many Protestants see it as symbolic.

How do Protestant and Anglican views on sacraments differ?

Protestants typically recognize two sacraments (baptism and communion), while Anglicans may uphold additional sacraments similar to Catholicism.

What's the Anglican view on church hierarchy?

Anglicanism maintains a structured hierarchy with bishops, similar to Catholicism, unlike many Protestant denominations.

What is sola scriptura in Protestantism?

It's the doctrine that the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of doctrine and practice.

Are there Protestant churches that resemble Anglicanism?

Some Protestant denominations, like the Episcopal Church, share similarities with Anglicanism in liturgy and structure.

Do Anglicans have confession like Catholics?

Anglicans practice confession, but it's not as central as in Catholicism.

What is the Anglican Communion?

A global association of Anglican churches, maintaining a common heritage and tradition.

Do Protestants use the Bible differently than Anglicans?

Protestants emphasize personal interpretation of the Bible, while Anglicans also consider church tradition in understanding scripture.

What are the main Protestant denominations?

Major Protestant denominations include Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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