Any English Protestant who does not conform to the doctrines or practices of the established Church of England. The term was first used after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 to describe congregations that had separated from the national church. Such congregations, also called Separatists or Dissenters, often rejected Anglican rites and doctrines as being too close to Catholicism. In the late 19th century, Nonconformists of various denominations joined together to form the Free Church Federal Council. In England and Wales the term is generally applied to all Protestant denominations outside Anglicanism, including Baptists, Congregationalists, Unitarians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Quakers, and Churches of Christ.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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