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Portal:Christianity

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Common symbol of Christianity

Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. It is the world's largest religion, with over 2.4 billion followers, known as Christians. Christians 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.

Christian theology is summarized in various creeds. These professions of faith state that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, 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 bodily 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's life and teaching, four of which—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—are considered canonical and included in the Christian Bible.

Christianity began as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the mid-1st century. Throughout its history, the religion has weathered schisms and theological disputes that have resulted in many distinct churches and denominations. Worldwide, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the various denominations of Protestantism. The Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches broke communion with each other in the East-West Schism of 1054; Protestantism came into existence in the Reformation of the 16th century, splitting from the Catholic Church.

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Stained glass depiction of Joseph Smith's first vision.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes referred to as the LDS Church or the Mormon Church, describes itself as the restoration of the original church established by Jesus Christ. It claims to be a Christian church, but separate from the Catholic or Protestant traditions.

The church teaches that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, Jr. and called him to be a prophet and to restore the original church as established by Jesus Christ through a restoration of elements that had been missing from Christianity since the early days of Christianity due to apostasy. This restoration included the return of priesthood authority, new sacred texts, and the calling of twelve apostles. The Church was organized under the leadership of Joseph Smith in Fayette, New York, on April 6, 1830, following his translation of the Book of Mormon from which adherents—also called Latter-day Saints—get their nickname Mormons.

Joseph Smith led the church until his violent death in 1844. After a period of confusion where the church was led by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and various claims of succession were made, Brigham Young led a group of Mormon pioneers away from the former church headquarters in Nauvoo, Illinois, and eventually to the Salt Lake Valley of Utah in July 1847. Brigham Young was sustained as President of the church at General Conference in December 1847.

Now an international organization, the church has its world headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah where Thomas Monson serves as its sixteenth President. The church sends tens of thousands of missionaries throughout the world, and in 2005 reported a worldwide membership of over 12.5 million.

Selected scripture

Jesus walking on water
And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened. And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore.
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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

Gregory of Nazianzus was a 4th century Christian bishop of Constantinople. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age. As a classically trained speaker and philosopher he infused Hellenism into the early church, establishing the paradigm of Byzantine theologians and church officials. Gregory made a significant impact on the shape of Trinitarian theology among both Greek-speaking and Latin-speaking theologians, and he is remembered as the "Trinitarian Theologian". Much of his theological work continues to influence modern theologians, especially in regard to the relationship among the three persons of the Trinity. Along with two brothers, Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa, he is known as one of the Cappadocian Fathers. Gregory is honored as a saint in both Eastern and Western Christianity. In the Roman Catholic Church he is among the Doctors of the Church; in Eastern Orthodoxy and the Eastern Catholic Churches he is revered as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs along with Basil of Caesarea and John Chrysostom.

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Christ the King
Credit: User:Boston

Christ the King is a title of Jesus based on several passages of Scripture. It is used by most Christians.

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