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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. It is the world's largest religion, with over 2.4 billion followers, or 33% of the global population, making up a majority of the population in about two-thirds of the countries in the world. Its adherents believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Logos, and the savior of humanity, whose coming as the Messiah (Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament, as described in the Bible. Christianity and its ethics has played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization.

Christianity grew out of Judaism as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the mid-1st century in the Roman province of Judea. Jesus' apostles, and their sucessors the Apostolic fathers, spread it around Syria, Europe, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Transcaucasia, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Asia, despite initial persecution. After decriminalisation by the Edict of Milan (313), Emperor Constantine the Great, himself a convert, convened the First Council of Nicaea (325) where Early Christianity was consolidated into what would become the state religion of the Roman Empire (380). The First Council of Nicaea formulated the Nicene Creed (325), and the Church fathers supervised the development of the Christian biblical canons (5th century). This period during the initial of the First seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, when the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Oriental Orthodoxy thrived in communion. This lasted until Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon (451) over differences in Christology, and the Eastern Orthodox Church in the East–West Schism (1054) especially over the authority of the Pope. Similarly, Protestantism, while not a single but numerous denominations, later split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation (16th century) over theological and ecclesiological deviation.

While influencing Western civilisation, particularly in Europe during the Middle Ages, persecution has been an issue ever since the Roman Empire. This intensified from the Early Islamic conquests (622–750) on, around what then became the Islamic world. Yet, following the Age of Discovery (15th century), Christianity spread to the Americas, Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world through missionary work and colonization. Conversely, in the Western world since the Late Modern era, various variants of state-sponosored secularist and marxist movements have been significant opponents.

Selected article

Catholic doctrine regarding the Ten Commandments is largely based on the Old and New Testaments and the writings of the early Church Fathers. In the New Testament, Jesus acknowledged their validity and instructed his disciples to go further, demanding a righteousness exceeding that of the scribes and Pharisees. Summarized by Jesus into two "great commandments" that teach love of God and love of neighbor, they instruct individuals on their relationships with both. The first three commandments demand respect for God's name, observation of the Lord's Day and prohibit the worship of other gods. The others deal with the relationships between individuals, such as that between parent and child; they include prohibitions against lying, stealing, murdering, adultery and covetousness. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church — the official exposition of the Catholic Church's Christian beliefs—the Commandments are considered essential for spiritual good health and growth, and serve as the basis for Catholic social teaching. A review of the Commandments is one of the most common types of examination of conscience used by Catholics before receiving the sacrament of Penance.

Selected scripture

Stoning of St Stephen
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
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

Mary MacKillop in 1869
Mary Helen MacKillop RSJ (15 January 1842 – 8 August 1909), now formally known as St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, was an Australian nun who has been declared a saint by the Catholic Church. Of Scottish descent, she was born in Melbourne, but was best known for her activities in South Australia. Together with the Reverend Julian Tenison Woods, she founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (the Josephites), a congregation of religious sisters that established a number of schools and welfare institutions throughout Australasia, with an emphasis on education for the rural poor.

With the process to have MacKillop declared a saint having begun in the 1920s, she was beatified in January 1995 by Pope John Paul II. Pope Benedict XVI prayed at her tomb during his visit to Sydney for World Youth Day 2008 and, in December 2009, approved the Catholic Church's recognition of a second miracle attributed to her intercession. She was canonised on 17 October 2010, during a public ceremony in St Peter's Square at the Vatican. She is the first and only Australian to be recognised by the Catholic Church as a saint. She is the patron saint of Australia (along with the Virgin Mary as Our Lady, Help of Christians) and Brisbane.

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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