Baptist churches belong to a protestant movement of Christianity characterised by a strong emphasis on baptism. In contrast to churches in other denominations who baptise or christen children soon after they are born, Baptists usually wait until members are young adults so that they can participate fully in their own baptism (similar to confirmation in other denominations). Instead of a font, this ceremony will often make use of a pool, known as a baptistry, in which the baptismal candidate can be fully immersed, recalling Jesus' own baptism in the River Jordan (Matthew 3:13-17).
As an extension of their emphasis on baptism itself, Baptists often also emphasise being 'born again' and full of the Holy Spirit, leading to lively, informal, participative worship and a zealous attitude to Christian living.
There are Baptist churches in many countries, and the movement is notably strong in the southern states of the United States of America. Martin Luther King, for example, was a Baptist minister. There is no single worldwide body that unites all Baptist churches, and although they may have similar practices, churches that consider themselves Baptist may not have formalised links in the way that Anglican or Catholic churches do.