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Portal:Christianity

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The CHRISTIANITY PORTAL
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Introduction

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, known by Christians as the Christ, or "Messiah", who is the focal point of the Christian faiths. It is the world's largest religion, with over 2.4 billion followers, or 33% of the global population, known as Christians. Christians make up a majority of the population in about two-thirds of the countries and territories in the world. They believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of humanity, whose coming as the Messiah (the Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament. Christianity has played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization.

Christianity grew out of Judaism and began as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the mid-1st century in the Roman province of Judea. It quickly spread to Syria, Europe, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Transcaucasia, Egypt, Ethiopia and Asia, and become the official state religion of the Roman Empire in 380. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity spread to the Americas, Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world through missionary work and colonization.

Christian theology is summarized in creeds such as the Nicene Creed, in addition to the Bible. These professions of faith state that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, descended into hell and rose from the dead in order to grant eternal life to those who believe in him and trust in him for the remission of their sins. The creeds further maintain that Jesus physically ascended into heaven, where he reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit and that he will return to judge the living and the dead and grant eternal life to his followers. His incarnation, earthly ministry, crucifixion and resurrection are often referred to as "the gospel", meaning "good news". The term gospel also refers to written accounts of Jesus' life and teaching, four of which—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—are considered canonical and included in the Bible. The Nicene Creed (325) and the biblical canon (5th century) were established by the ancient undivided Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church, a period sometimes referred to as the Great Church, a unity lasting until the East–West Schism in 1054.

Selected article

São Paulo Cathedral, a representative modern cathedral built in Neo-Gothic style.
A cathedral (French: cathédrale from Latin: cathedra, "seat" from the Greek kathedra (καθέδρα), seat, bench, from kata "down" + hedra seat, base, chair) is a Christian church which contains the seat of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, conference, or episcopate. Churches with the function of "cathedral" are usually specific to those Christian denominations with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, and some Lutheran and Methodist churches.

In respect of the church buildings in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the English word "cathedral" commonly translates katholikon (sobor in Slavic languages), meaning of "assembly"; but this title is also applied to monastic and other major churches without episcopal responsibilities. When the church at which an archbishop or "metropolitan" presides is specifically intended, the term kathedrikos naos (literally: "cathedral church") is used.

Following the Protestant Reformation, the Christian church in several parts of Western Europe, such as Scotland, the Netherlands, certain Swiss Cantons and parts of Germany, adopted a Presbyterian polity that did away with bishops altogether. Where ancient cathedral buildings in these lands are still in use for congregational worship, they generally retain the title and dignity of "cathedral", maintaining and developing distinct cathedral functions, but void of hierarchical supremacy. From the 16th century onwards, but especially since the 19th century, churches originating in Western Europe have undertaken vigorous programmes of missionary activity, leading to the founding of large numbers of new dioceses with associated cathedral establishments of varying forms in Asia, Africa, Australasia, Oceania and the Americas. In addition, both the Catholic Church and Orthodox churches have formed new dioceses within formerly Protestant lands for converts and migrant co-religionists. Consequently, it is not uncommon to find Christians in a single city being served by three or more cathedrals of differing denominations.

The term "cathedral" actually carries no implication as to the size or ornateness of the building. Nevertheless, most cathedrals are particularly impressive edifices. Thus, the term "cathedral" is often applied colloquially to any large and impressive church, regardless of whether it functions as a cathedral, such as the Crystal Cathedral in California or the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø, Norway.

Selected scripture

The Temptations of Christ, 12th century mosaic at St Mark's Basilica, Venice
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. He ate nothing in those days. Afterward, when they were completed, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ”
The devil, leading him up on a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. The devil said to him, “I will give you all this authority, and their glory, for it has been delivered to me; and I give it to whomever I want. If you therefore will worship before me, it will all be yours.”
Jesus answered him, “Get behind me Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.’”
He led him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down from here, for it is written,
‘He will put his angels in charge of you, to guard you;’
and,
‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest perhaps you dash your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answering, said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”
When the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him until another time.
More quotes...

Did you know...

...that there are approximately 2.5 billion Christians worldwide?
...that the Bible was the greatest passion of Sir Isaac Newton, who said, "I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily."?
...that the Black Madonna of Częstochowa is credited with miraculously saving the Polish monastery of Jasna Góra (English: Bright Hill) from a Swedish 17th century invasion, known as the Deluge?


Selected biography

Joseph W. Tkach was the appointed successor of Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God. Tkach became President and Pastor General of the church upon the death of Armstrong in 1986. Tkach spearheaded a major doctrinal transformation of the Worldwide Church of God, abandoning Armstrong's unconventional doctrines and bringing the church into accord with mainstream evangelical Christianity. His son, Joseph Tkach Jr., continued his work and in 1997 the Worldwide Church of God became a member of the National Association of Evangelicals.

During Tkach's tenure, the changes that he implemented stirred much controversy and significant dissent among those who continued to follow Armstrong's theology. The dissenters labelled the changes as heresy and many left to form new church organizations. Within the mainstream Christian community, some have hailed Tkach's reforms, which brought a church from the fringe to orthodoxy, as unprecedented in the history of the Christian church.

The first major change under Tkach's tenure was the WCG's doctrine on healing. Previously the church taught that true believers were healed by faith in God and not by doctors. Tkach asked the church leadership to study the question. Once Tkach was satisfied with the results of the study, he officially softened the church's teaching on the matter, encouraging members to seek proper treatment while retaining faith in God as healer.

Selected image

Last Judgment
Credit: User:Arnaud 25

The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord or in Islam Yawm al-Qiyāmah or Yawm ad-Din is part of the eschatological world view of the Abrahamic religions and in the Frashokereti of Zoroastrianism.

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