Christian Science facts for kids

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Christian Science
Aerial photograph of a triangular lot between roads and their sidewalks. The lot contains a small, Romanesque church filling the front point to the sidewalks, connected to a much larger and impressive domed, Neoclassical building behind it, filling the lot to the sidewalks to the left and right.
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Christian Science Center, Boston, Massachusetts. The original Mother Church (1894) is in the foreground and behind it the Mother Church Extension (1906).
Founder Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910)
Texts Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy and Bible
Members Estimated 106,000 in the United States in 1990 and under 50,000 in 2009; according to the church, 400,000 worldwide in 2008.
Beliefs "Basic teachings", Church of Christ, Scientist
Website
christianscience.com

Christian Science is a set of beliefs associated with members of The First Church of Christ, Scientist. Adherents are commonly known as Christian Scientists or students of Christian Science, and the church is sometimes informally known as the Christian Science church. It originated in 19th-century New England with Mary Baker Eddy, who argued in her 1875 book Science and Health that sickness can be healed by prayer. The book became Christian Science's central text, along with the Bible, and by 2001 had sold over nine million copies.

Eddy and 26 followers were granted a charter in 1879 to found the Church of Christ, Scientist, and in 1894 the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, was built in Boston, Massachusetts. Christian Science became the fastest growing religion in the United States, with nearly 270,000 members there by 1936, a figure that had declined by 1990 to just over 100,000, and by 2009 reportedly to under 50,000. The church is known for its newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, which won seven Pulitzer Prizes between 1950 and 2002, and for its public Reading Rooms around the world.

Eddy described Christian Science as a return to "primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing". There are key differences between Christian Science theology and that of traditional Christianity. In particular, adherents subscribe to a radical form of philosophical idealism, believing that reality is purely spiritual and the material world an illusion. This includes the view that disease is a mental error rather than physical disorder, and that the sick should be treated not by medicine but by a form of prayer that seeks to correct the beliefs responsible for the illusion of ill health.

The church does not require that Christian Scientists avoid all medical care—adherents use dentists, optometrists, obstetricians, physicians for broken bones, and are open to vaccination especially when required by law—but maintains that Christian Science prayer is most effective when not combined with medicine. Critics of Christian Science blame the religion's avoidance of medical treatment for the deaths of several adherents and their children between the 1880s and 1990s.

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Christian Science Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.