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New Apostolic Church

In 1863 the senior apostle of the Catholic Apostolic Church,* F.V. Woodhouse, excommunicated the movement's German prophet, Heinrich Geyer, for recognizing new apostles to replace those who had died. In consequence the New-Apostolic Church was founded in Germany. It laid less emphasis on the Second Coming and was distinguished from its predecessor by the establishment of a successional apostolate subject to a senior apostle or patriarch with quasi-papal powers, regarded as “the visible incarnation of Christ on earth.” The New Apostolic Church continued to flourish in Germany-even under Hitler, whom Johann Bischoff (patriarch 1932-60) claimed to be God's special emissary. Since 1925 the German branch of the community has nearly trebled in size and Neoapostolics are to be found also in Switzerland, France, South Africa, Java, and the Americas.