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Communion of Saints
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Communion of Saints

The Communion of Saints is a Christian doctrine held by the majority of major Christian churches, but opposed by some others. It is included in the Apostles Creed, the major confession of the Christian faith, laid down for the instruction of Christians between the 3rd and 6th century.

The doctrine of the Communion of Saints states, based on 1 Corinthians 12: 12-27, that all Christians (saints) are united in one body in Christ, and that this applies to Christians who are alive on earth, or living in heaven (heavenly saints), Jewish or Gentile. Those saints who are in the presence of God in heaven still continue to help their fellow Christians on earth through prayer and intercession, (Revelation 5:8), and Christians on earth may ask for that intercession. Those christians who have died but are not yet in the presence of God in heaven may also benefit from the prayers of those on earth.

The doctrine of the Communion of Saints is the basis for Christian practices such as prayer to the saints and prayers on behalf of the dead. As such, the doctrine is held by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Coptic Churches, as well as by some Anglicans, and other protestants. However it is rejected in this form by other protestant groups, who maintain that the Communion of Saints only applies to Christians on earth.