Christianity is not a monolithic religion, nor has it been for several centuries. The earliest Christian communities had various tensions toward retaining Jewish practices and creating a distinct identity as believers. Amongst some Christians, Gnosticism was accepted, among others, it was anathematized. As these differences were sorted out during the ecumenical councils over a period of centuries, Christians still continued to split into various bodies with distinct national heritages and ecclesiastical authority.
Broadly speaking, the largest split amongst Christians has been between Eastern and Western Christianity. Easterners emphasized personal experience of God, tradition, monasticism, and the primacy of the Greek language and the Greek translation of the Bible. The Western church was marked by rational explanations of faith, the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, and a Latin-based liturgy.
In addition to historical schisms between Christian bodies, there are hundreds of millions of independent Christians today, including many in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa. The latter have been particularly influenced by the rise of Pentecostalism in the 20th century. A booming house church movement has also taken hold in mainland China. A much smaller movement of Christians seeking the Jewish origins of Christianity has emerged in the past 150 years as well.