A denomination founded in 1879 based on interpretations of the Bible found in the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, who wrote Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The church’s official title is the Church of Christ, Scientist. Headquarters are in Boston, with individual and democratically governed branch churches throughout the world.
Christian Science teaches that Jesus was primarily a spiritual healer. It embraces the original Christian teaching and practices of healing sin, sickness and death based on the church’s understanding of the divine principles of Jesus’ teaching and healing. Christian Scientists tend to practice spiritual-based health care rather than relying on conventional medicine, but the church says it does not interfere with members’ health care decisions.
Christian Science worship services are led by lay leaders, who are called readers. The faith also has practitioners, who are self-employed healers. Capitalize these titles before a name and on second reference use only the last name. Do not use the Rev. in any references.
The Church of Christ, Scientist, is not recognized as Christian by the Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox churches for a number of doctrinal reasons, including its rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity. In stories where this is relevant, journalists should explain the Christian Science beliefs and why other groups say those beliefs do not accord with traditional Christianity. In stories where different faith groups are mentioned, journalists should avoid judging which groups are Christian. For example, say Baptists, Christian Scientists, Presbyterians and Jewish groups took part in relief efforts rather than Baptists, Presbyterians and non-Christians, including Christian Scientists and Jews, took part in relief efforts.
The terms Christian Science Church or Churches of Christ, Scientist, are acceptable in all references. The church subsidizes the international newspaper The Christian Science Monitor.