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Portal:Christianity

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Common symbol of Christianity

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life, teachings and purported miracles 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. Originating in the Roman province of Judea, it quickly spread to Syria, Europe, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Transcaucasia, Egypt, Ethiopia and the Indian subcontinent, and by the end of the 4th century had become the official state religion of the Roman Empire. 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 Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed. 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 Christian Bible, as established by the 5th century for the ancient undivided Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions, a period sometimes referred to as the Great Church, before the East–West Schism in 1054.

Throughout the history of Christianity, theological and ecclesiological disputes have resulted in schisms with many distinct denominations. Worldwide, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, Protestantism, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Oriental Orthodoxy. The Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches broke communion with each other in the East–West Schism of 1054, and the Chalcedonian schism in 451. Protestantism, while not a single denomination but a collective term, emerged in the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, splitting from the Catholic Church.

Selected article

Global Roman Catholic population
The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church (see terminology) is the Christian church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Francis. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter.

The Catholic Church is by far the largest Christian church and the largest organized body of any world religion. According to the Statistical Yearbook of the Church, the Catholic Church's worldwide recorded membership at the end of 2005 was 1,114,966,000, approximately one-sixth of the world's population.

The worldwide Catholic Church is made up of one Western or Latin and 22 Eastern Catholic particular churches, all of which look to the Bishop of Rome, alone or along with the College of Bishops, as their highest authority on earth for matters of faith, morals and church governance. It is divided into jurisdictional areas, usually on a territorial basis. The standard territorial unit, each of which is headed by a bishop, is called a diocese in the Latin church and an eparchy in the Eastern churches. At the end of 2006, the total number of all these jurisdictional areas (or "Sees") was 2,782.

Selected scripture

Cleansing ten lepers
And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
More quotes...

Did you know...

...that there are approximately 2.5 billion Christians worldwide?
...that there are usually 66 books in the Protestant Bible, and 73 in the Catholic Bible, and 75 in the Eastern Orthodox Bible?
...that there are over 33,500 Protestant denominations in 238 countries worldwide?
...that during the Avignon Papacy from 1305 to 1378, several medieval popes lived/resided in Avignon and not in Rome?


Selected biography

Portrait of Jones by William Crubb
Peter Jones (missionary) (January 1, 1802 – June 29, 1856) was an Ojibwa Methodist minister, translator, chief and author from Burlington Heights, Upper Canada. His Ojibwa name was Kahkewāquonāby (Gakiiwegwanebi in the Fiero spelling), which means "[Sacred] Waving Feathers." In Mohawk, he was called Desagondensta, meaning "he stands people on their feet." In his youth his band of Mississaugas had been on the verge of destruction. As a preacher and a chieftain, as a role model and as a liaison to governments, his leadership helped his people survive contact with Europeans. As a bilingual and bicultural preacher, he enabled the Methodists to make significant inroads with the Mississaugas and Iroquois of Upper Canada, both by translating hymns and biblical texts in Ojibwe and Mohawk and by preaching to Indians who did not understand English. Jones was also a political leader. This brought him into contact with Superintendent of the Indian Department James Givins and influential Bishop John Strachan, with whom he arranged the funding and support of the Credit Mission. There he lived and worked as a preacher and community leader, leading the conversion of Mississaugas to a European lifestyle of agriculture and Christianity, which enabled them to compete with the white settlers of Upper Canada. He was elected a chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit Mission in 1829 and acted as a spokesman for the band when petitioning the colonial government and its departments.

Selected picture

The First Vision of Joseph Smith
Credit: User:COGDEN

The First Vision (also called the grove experience) refers to a vision that Joseph Smith said he received in the spring of 1820, in a wooded area in Manchester, New York, which his followers call the Sacred Grove.

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