Christianity: Introduction

Christianity: Introduction

Christianity is the largest religion in the world. The most popular religion in the world, Christianity has well over two billion followers.

Christianity was founded in Palestine by the followers of Jesus , in the 1st century AD. One of the world’s major religions, it predominates in Europe and the Americas, where it has been a powerful historical force and cultural influence, but it also claims adherents in virtually every country of the world. To be a Christian is to acknowledge Jesus Christ as a savior.

  • Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and that:
    • God sent his Son to earth to save humanity from the consequences of its sins (i.e. its non-good behaviour, or its disobedience to God)
    • Jesus was fully human, and experienced this world in the same way as other human beings of his time
    • Jesus was tortured and gave his life on the Cross
      (At the Crucifixion )
    • Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his Crucifixion ( the Resurrection )
  • Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament
  • Christians believe that there is only one God , but that this one God consists of three persons ( Trinity ):
    • God the Father

    • God the Son

    • The Holy Spirit

  • Christians worship in Churches .
  • The Christian holy book is the Old and New Testament of the Bible. Christian creed , based on the New Testament , consists of the essential doctrines, or beliefs, of Christianity.
  • Christian festivals such as Easter and Christmas, play a major role in the Western calendar

The Christian history is focused on the life, death and resurrection of one person, Jesus Christ . In the centuries following the life of Jesus, Church leaders and theologians strove to express their beliefs with ever greater precision.

The essence of being a Christian is not to know about Christ but to be another Christ : “Me in Christ”, in His Mystical Body, in His Church, and “Christ in me”, by faith, by grace, freely, I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Ga.2:20… John 15)… to live on earth the glorious adventure of a Christian in Christ, of another Christ, doing wonderful woks, and to end up in eternal heaven, full of joy and peace and love for ever and ever.

Christianity was originally a movement of a few Jews who accepted Jesus as the Messiah, but the movement quickly became predominantly gentile. The early church was shaped by Peter and Paul and other early Christian missionaries and theologians; it was persecuted under the Roman Empire but recognized by Emperor Constantine in 313.

The greatest difference between the Old and the New Testament, is that in the “Old”, God was “among” his people, leading them and caring for them, but in the “New”, God is “within” each Christian, every Christian is a Temple of God (Jn.14:23, 1Cor.3:16)…

In the two millennia of its history Christianity has been divided by schism, based on doctrinal and organizational differences. Christianity encompasses numerous religious traditions that widely vary by culture, as well as many diverse beliefs and sects. It is usually represented as having divided into three main branches:

  1. Roman Catholicism (the largest group, representing over one billion baptized members),

  2. Protestantism (Many denominations and schools of thought, including Anglicanism, Reformed, Lutheran, Methodist, Evangelicalism, and Pentecostalism)

  3. Orthodox Christianity (including Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy)

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