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Baptism (/ˈbæptɪzəm/; from the Greek noun βάπτισμα baptisma) is a Christian rite of initiation and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. It may be performed by sprinkling or pouring water on the head, or by immersing in water either partially or completely.


The term Baptism is derived from the Greek word βάπτισμα (baptisma), which means "immersion" or "dipping". This term was originally used in the context of ritual purification in ancient Greek religious practices.

Related Terms

  • Christianity: The religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices.
  • Rite: A religious or other solemn ceremony or act.
  • Initiation: The action of admitting someone into a secret or obscure society or group, typically with a ritual.
  • Adoption: The action or fact of legally taking another's child and bringing it up as one's own.
  • Water: A colorless, transparent, odorless liquid that forms the seas, lakes, rivers, and rain and is the basis of the fluids of living organisms.

See Also

  • Confirmation (sacrament): A Christian sacrament or rite, constituting a person's formal acceptance into the church.
  • Eucharist: The Christian ceremony commemorating the Last Supper, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed.


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