Christianity[note 1] is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on
the life, teachings, and 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.[note 2]
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
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 Europe, Syria,
Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Transcaucasia, Egypt,
Ethiopia and the Indian
subcontinent, and by the end of the 4th century had become the
official state church 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
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
Jesus physically ascended into heaven, where he reigns
God the Father
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".[note 3] 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
as established by the 5th century for the ancient undivided
Eastern Orthodox traditions before the East–West
Throughout its history,
Christianity has weathered schisms and
theological disputes that have resulted in many distinct churches and
denominations. Worldwide, the three largest branches of Christianity
Catholic Church, Protestantism, and the Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox churches broke communion
with each other in the
East–West Schism of 1054.
into existence in the
Reformation in the 16th century, splitting
1.2.1 Death and resurrection
126.96.36.199 Clarity of Scripture
188.8.131.52 Original intended meaning of Scripture
1.6.1 Death and afterlife
2.2 Liturgical calendar
3.1 Early Church and Christological Councils
3.1.1 End of Roman persecution under Emperor Constantine (AD 313)
3.2 Early Middle Ages
3.3 High and Late Middle Ages
Reformation and Counter-Reformation
5 Major divisions
Eastern Orthodox Church
5.3 Oriental Orthodoxy
5.4 Assyrian Church of the East
8 Criticism and apologetics
9 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
There are many important differences of interpretation and opinion of
Bible and sacred tradition on which
Christianity is based.
Because of these irreconcilable differences in theology and a lack of
consensus on the core tenets of Christianity, Catholics, Protestants
and Orthodox often deny that members of certain other branches are
Christian creeds, and List of Christian
Wikisource has original text related to this article:
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Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are
known as creeds (from
Latin credo, meaning "I believe"). They began as
baptismal formulae and were later expanded during the Christological
controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements
Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of
faith, even while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the
Baptists have been non-creedal "in that they have not
sought to establish binding authoritative confessions of faith on one
another.":p.111 Also rejecting creeds are groups with roots in the
Restoration Movement, such as the
Christian Church (Disciples of
Christian Church in Canada and the Churches
Christian icon depicting Emperor Constantine and the
Fathers of the
First Council of Nicaea
First Council of Nicaea (325) as holding the
Creed of 381
Creed is the most widely accepted statement of the
Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian
denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most
visibly by liturgical churches of Western
Latin Church of the
Catholic Church, Lutheranism,
Anglicanism and Western
Rite Orthodoxy. It is also used by
Presbyterians, Methodists and Congregationalists. This particular
creed was developed between the 2nd and 9th centuries. Its
central doctrines are those of the
God the Creator. Each
of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements
current in the apostolic period. The creed was apparently used as a
Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches
Its main points include:
God the Father,
Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and the Holy
The death, descent into hell, resurrection and ascension of Christ
The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints
Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the
Creed was formulated, largely in response to Arianism, at
the Councils of Nicaea and
Constantinople in 325 and 381 respectively
 and ratified as the universal creed of
Christendom by the
First Council of Ephesus
First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or
Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the
Council of Chalcedon
Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental
Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two
natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably": one
divine and one human, and that both natures, while perfect in
themselves, are nevertheless also perfectly united into one
The Athanasian Creed, received in the Western Church as having the
same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God
in Trinity, and
Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons nor
dividing the Substance."
Christians (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox
Protestant alike) accept the use of creeds, and subscribe to at
least one of the creeds mentioned above.
Various depictions of Jesus
Main articles: Jesus,
Jesus in Christianity, and Christ (title)
Jesus in comparative mythology
The central tenet of
Christianity is the belief in
Jesus as the Son of
God and the
Christians believe that Jesus, as the
Messiah, was anointed by
God as savior of humanity and hold that
Jesus' coming was the fulfillment of messianic prophecies of the Old
Christian concept of the
Messiah differs significantly
from the contemporary
Jewish concept. The core
Christian belief is
that through belief in and acceptance of the death and resurrection of
Jesus, sinful humans can be reconciled to
God and thereby are offered
salvation and the promise of eternal life.
While there have been many theological disputes over the nature of
Jesus over the earliest centuries of
Christian history, generally
Christians believe that
God incarnate and "true
God and true
man" (or both fully divine and fully human). Jesus, having become
fully human, suffered the pains and temptations of a mortal man, but
did not sin. As fully God, he rose to life again. According to the New
Testament, he rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, is seated at
the right hand of the Father and will ultimately return[Acts
1:9–11] to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy, including the
resurrection of the dead, the
Last Judgment and final establishment of
the Kingdom of God.
According to the canonical gospels of Matthew and Luke,
conceived by the
Holy Spirit and born from the Virgin Mary. Little of
Jesus' childhood is recorded in the canonical gospels, although
infancy gospels were popular in antiquity. In comparison, his
adulthood, especially the week before his death, is well documented in
the gospels contained within the New Testament, because that part of
his life is believed to be most important. The biblical accounts of
Jesus' ministry include: his baptism, miracles, preaching, teaching
Death and resurrection
Jesus and Resurrection of Jesus
Crucifixion, representing the death of
Jesus on the Cross, painting by
Diego Velázquez, 17th century
Christians consider the resurrection of
Jesus to be the cornerstone of
their faith (see 1 Corinthians 15) and the most important event in
Christian beliefs, the death and resurrection of
Jesus are two core events on which much of
Christian doctrine and
theology is based. According to the New Testament,
crucified, died a physical death, was buried within a tomb and rose
from the dead three days later.[Jn. 19:30–31] [Mk. 16:1] [16:6]
New Testament mentions several resurrection appearances of Jesus
on different occasions to his twelve apostles and disciples, including
"more than five hundred brethren at once",[1Cor 15:6] before Jesus'
Ascension to heaven. Jesus' death and resurrection are commemorated by
Christians in all worship services, with special emphasis during Holy
Week which includes
Good Friday and
The death and resurrection of
Jesus are usually considered the most
important events in
Christian theology, partly because they
Jesus has power over life and death and therefore has
the authority and power to give people eternal life.
Christian churches accept and teach the
New Testament account of the
Jesus with very few exceptions. Some modern
scholars use the belief of Jesus' followers in the resurrection as a
point of departure for establishing the continuity of the historical
Jesus and the proclamation of the early church. Some liberal
Christians do not accept a literal bodily resurrection, seeing
the story as richly symbolic and spiritually nourishing myth.
Arguments over death and resurrection claims occur at many religious
debates and interfaith dialogues. Paul the Apostle, an early
Christian convert and missionary, wrote, "If Christ was not raised,
then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in
useless."[1Cor 15:14] 
Main article: Salvation (Christianity)
Paul the Apostle, like Jews and Roman pagans of his time, believed
that sacrifice can bring about new kinship ties, purity and eternal
life. For Paul, the necessary sacrifice was the death of Jesus:
Gentiles who are "Christ's" are, like Israel, descendants of Abraham
and "heirs according to the promise".[Gal. 3:29]  The
Jesus from the dead would also give new life to the "mortal
bodies" of Gentile Christians, who had become with Israel the
"children of God" and were therefore no longer "in the flesh".[Rom.
Christian churches tend to be much more concerned with how
humanity can be saved from a universal condition of sin and death than
the question of how both Jews and Gentiles can be in God's family.
According to both
Protestant doctrine, salvation comes by
Jesus' substitutionary death and resurrection. The
teaches that salvation does not occur without faithfulness on the part
of Christians; converts must live in accordance with principles of
love and ordinarily must be baptized.
Martin Luther taught
that baptism was necessary for salvation, but modern
Protestants tend to teach that salvation is a gift that comes to
an individual by God's grace, sometimes defined as "unmerited favor",
even apart from baptism.
Christians differ in their views on the extent to which individuals'
salvation is pre-ordained by God.
Reformed theology places distinctive
emphasis on grace by teaching that individuals are completely
incapable of self-redemption, but that sanctifying grace is
irresistible. In contrast Catholics, Orthodox
Protestants believe that the exercise of free will is
necessary to have faith in Jesus.
Main article: Trinity
Trinity is the belief that
God is one
God in three persons: the
Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.
Trinity refers to the teaching that the one God comprises three
distinct, eternally co-existing persons; the Father, the Son
Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. Together, these three
persons are sometimes called the Godhead, although there
is no single term in use in Scripture to denote the unified
Godhead. In the words of the Athanasian Creed, an early statement
Christian belief, "the Father is God, the Son is
God and the Holy
Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God". They
are distinct from another: the Father has no source, the Son is
begotten of the Father and the Spirit proceeds from the Father. Though
distinct, the three persons cannot be divided from one another in
being or in operation. While some
Christians also believe that God
appeared as the Father in the Old Testament, it is agreed that he
appeared as the Son in the New Testament, and will still continue to
manifest as the
Holy Spirit in the present. But still,
existed as three persons in each of these times. However,
traditionally there is a belief that it was the Son who appeared in
Old Testament because, for example, when the
Trinity is depicted
in art, the Son typically has the distinctive appearance, a cruciform
halo identifying Christ, and in depictions of the
Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden this
looks forward to an Incarnation yet to occur. In some Early Christian
sarcophagi the Logos is distinguished with a beard, "which allows him
to appear ancient, even preexistent."
Trinity is an essential doctrine of mainstream Christianity. From
earlier than the times of the Nicene Creed, 325, Christianity
advocated the triune mystery-nature of
God as a normative
profession of faith. According to
Roger E. Olson and Christopher Hall,
through prayer, meditation, study and practice, the Christian
community concluded "that
God must exist as both a unity and trinity",
codifying this in ecumenical council at the end of the 4th
According to this doctrine,
God is not divided in the sense that each
person has a third of the whole; rather, each person is considered to
God (see Perichoresis). The distinction lies in their
relations, the Father being unbegotten; the Son being begotten of the
Father; and the
Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and (in Western
Christian theology) from the Son. Regardless of this apparent
difference, the three "persons" are each eternal and omnipotent. Other
Christian religions including Unitarian Universalism, Jehovah's
Mormonism and others do not share those views on the
Latin word trias, from which trinity is derived, is first seen in
the works of Theophilus of Antioch. He wrote of "the
Trinity of God
(the Father), His Word (the Son) and His Wisdom (Holy Spirit)".
The term may have been in use before this time. Afterwards it appears
in Tertullian. In the following century the word was in
general use. It is found in many passages of Origen.
Main article: Trinitarianism
Trinitarianism denotes those
Christians who believe in the concept of
the Trinity. Almost all
Christian denominations and churches hold
Trinitarian beliefs. Although the words "Trinity" and "Triune" do not
appear in the Bible, theologians beginning in the 3rd century
developed the term and concept to facilitate comprehension of the New
Testament teachings of
God as being Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Since
Christian theologians have been careful to emphasize that
Trinity does not imply that there are three gods (the antitrinitarian
heresy of Tritheism), nor that each hypostasis of the
one-third of an infinite
God (partialism), nor that the Son and the
Holy Spirit are beings created by and subordinate to the Father
(Arianism). Rather, the
Trinity is defined as one
God in three
Main article: Nontrinitarianism
Nontrinitarianism (or antitrinitarianism) refers to theology that
rejects the doctrine of the Trinity. Various nontrinitarian views,
such as adoptionism or modalism, existed in early Christianity,
leading to the disputes about Christology.
appeared again in the
Gnosticism of the
Cathars in the 11th through
13th centuries, among groups with Unitarian theology in the
Reformation of the 16th century, in the
18th-century Enlightenment and in some groups arising during the
Second Great Awakening
Second Great Awakening of the 19th century.
Main articles: Bible, Biblical canon, Development of the Christian
Biblical canon, and
Bible is the sacred book in Christianity.
Christianity, like other religions, has adherents whose beliefs and
biblical interpretations vary.
Christianity regards the biblical
Old Testament and the New Testament, as the inspired word
of God. The traditional view of inspiration is that
God worked through
human authors so that what they produced was what
God wished to
communicate. The Greek word referring to inspiration in 2 Timothy 3:16
is theopneustos, which literally means "God-breathed".
Some believe that divine inspiration makes our present Bibles
inerrant. Others claim inerrancy for the
Bible in its original
manuscripts, although none of those are extant. Still others maintain
that only a particular translation is inerrant, such as the King James
Version. Another closely related view is Biblical
infallibility or limited inerrancy, which affirms that the
free of error as a guide to salvation, but may include errors on
matters such as history, geography or science.
The books of the
Bible accepted by the Orthodox,
Protestant churches vary somewhat, with Jews accepting only the Hebrew
Bible as canonical; there is however substantial overlap. These
variations are a reflection of the range of traditions, and of the
councils that have convened on the subject. Every version of the Old
Testament always includes the books of the Tanakh, the canon of the
Hebrew Bible. The
Catholic and Orthodox canons, in addition to the
Tanakh, also include the
Deuterocanonical Books as part of the Old
Testament. These books appear in the Septuagint, but are regarded by
Protestants to be apocryphal. However, they are considered to be
important historical documents which help to inform the understanding
of words, grammar and syntax used in the historical period of their
conception. Some versions of the
Bible include a separate Apocrypha
section between the
Old Testament and the New Testament. The New
Testament, originally written in Koine Greek, contains 27 books which
are agreed upon by all churches.
Modern scholarship has raised many issues with the Bible. While the
King James Version
King James Version is held to by many because of its
striking English prose, in fact it was translated from the Erasmus
Bible which in turn "was based on a single 12th Century
manuscript that is one of the worst manuscripts we have available to
us". Much scholarship in the past several hundred years has gone
into comparing different manuscripts in order to reconstruct the
original text. Another issue is that several books are considered to
be forgeries. The injunction that women "be silent and submissive" in
1 Timothy 2 is thought by many to be a forgery by a follower of
Paul, a similar phrase in 1 Corinthians 14, which is thought to be
by Paul, appears in different places in different manuscripts and is
thought to originally be a margin note by a copyist. Other verses
in 1 Corinthians, such as 1 Corinthians 11:2–16 where women are
instructed to wear a covering over their hair "when they pray or
prophesies", contradict this verse.
A final issue with the
Bible is the way in which books were selected
for inclusion in the New Testament. Other Gospels have now been
recovered, such as those found near
Nag Hammadi in 1945, and while
some of these texts are quite different from what
Christians have been
used to, it should be understood that some of this newly recovered
Gospel material is quite possibly contemporaneous with, or even
earlier than, the
New Testament Gospels. The core of the
Thomas, in particular, may date from as early as AD 50 (although some
major scholars contest this early dating), and if so would provide
an insight into the earliest gospel texts that underlie the canonical
Gospels, texts that are mentioned in Luke 1:1–2. The
Thomas contains much that is familiar from the canonical
Gospels—verse 113, for example ("The Father's Kingdom is spread out
upon the earth, but people do not see it"), is reminiscent of Luke
Gospel of John, with a terminology and
approach that is suggestive of what was later termed Gnosticism, has
recently been seen as a possible response to the
Gospel of Thomas, a
text that is commonly labelled proto-Gnostic. Scholarship, then, is
currently exploring the relationship in the Early Church between
mystical speculation and experience on the one hand and the search for
church order on the other, by analyzing new-found texts, by subjecting
canonical texts to further scrutiny, and by an examination of the
New Testament texts to canonical status.
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, the largest church in the world
and a symbol of the
Catholic theology of Scripture
In antiquity, two schools of exegesis developed in
Antioch. Alexandrine interpretation, exemplified by Origen, tended to
read Scripture allegorically, while Antiochene interpretation adhered
to the literal sense, holding that other meanings (called theoria)
could only be accepted if based on the literal meaning.
Catholic theology distinguishes two senses of scripture: the literal
and the spiritual.
The literal sense of understanding scripture is the meaning conveyed
by the words of Scripture. The spiritual sense is further subdivided
The allegorical sense, which includes typology. An example would be
the parting of the Red Sea being understood as a "type" (sign) of
The moral sense, which understands the scripture to contain some
The anagogical sense, which applies to eschatology, eternity and the
consummation of the world
Regarding exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation,
Catholic theology holds:
The injunction that all other senses of sacred scripture are based on
That the historicity of the Gospels must be absolutely and constantly
That scripture must be read within the "living
Tradition of the whole
That "the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in
communion with the successor of Peter, the
Bishop of Rome".
Protestants believe Martin Luther's basic beliefs against the Catholic
Sola scriptura (by Scripture alone),
Sola fide (by faith
Sola gratia (by grace alone),
Solus Christus (through Christ
Soli Deo gloria
Soli Deo gloria (glory to
Clarity of Scripture
Christians believe that the
Bible is a self-sufficient
revelation, the final authority on all
Christian doctrine, and
revealed all truth necessary for salvation. This concept is known as
Protestants characteristically believe that
ordinary believers may reach an adequate understanding of Scripture
because Scripture itself is clear (or "perspicuous"), because of the
help of the Holy Spirit, or both.
Martin Luther believed that without
God's help Scripture would be "enveloped in darkness". He
advocated "one definite and simple understanding of Scripture".
John Calvin wrote, "all who refuse not to follow the
Holy Spirit as
their guide, find in the Scripture a clear light". The Second
Helvetic Confession, composed by the pastor of the
Reformed church in
Zürich (successor to
Protestant reformer Zwingli) was adopted as a
declaration of doctrine by most European
Original intended meaning of Scripture
Protestants stress the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture, the
historical-grammatical method. The historical-grammatical method
or grammatico-historical method is an effort in Biblical hermeneutics
to find the intended original meaning in the text. This original
intended meaning of the text is drawn out through examination of the
passage in light of the grammatical and syntactical aspects, the
historical background, the literary genre as well as theological
(canonical) considerations. The historical-grammatical method
distinguishes between the one original meaning and the significance of
the text. The significance of the text includes the ensuing use of the
text or application. The original passage is seen as having only a
single meaning or sense. As Milton S. Terry said: "A fundamental
principle in grammatico-historical exposition is that the words and
sentences can have but one significance in one and the same
connection. The moment we neglect this principle we drift out upon a
sea of uncertainty and conjecture." Technically speaking, the
grammatical-historical method of interpretation is distinct from the
determination of the passage's significance in light of that
interpretation. Taken together, both define the term (Biblical)
Protestant interpreters make use of typology.
Khor Virap monastery in the shadow of Mount Ararat.
Armenia was the first state to adopt
Christianity as the state
religion, in AD 301.
The end of things, whether the end of an individual life, the end of
the age, or the end of the world, broadly speaking is Christian
eschatology; the study of the destiny of humans as it is revealed in
the Bible. The major issues in
Christian eschatology are the
Tribulation, death and the afterlife, the Rapture, the Second Coming
of Jesus, Resurrection of the Dead, Heaven and Hell, Millennialism,
the Last Judgment, the end of the world and the New Heavens and New
Christians believe that the second coming of Christ will occur at the
end of time after a period of severe persecution (the Great
Tribulation). All who have died will be resurrected bodily from the
dead for the Last Judgment.
Jesus will fully establish the Kingdom of
God in fulfillment of scriptural prophecies.
Death and afterlife
Christians believe that human beings experience divine judgment
and are rewarded either with eternal life or eternal damnation. This
includes the general judgement at the resurrection of the dead as well
as the belief (held by Roman Catholics, Orthodox
and most Protestants) in a judgment particular to the individual soul
upon physical death.
In Roman Catholicism, those who die in a state of grace, i.e., without
any mortal sin separating them from God, but are still imperfectly
purified from the effects of sin, undergo purification through the
intermediate state of purgatory to achieve the holiness necessary for
entrance into God's presence. Those who have attained this goal
are called saints (
Latin sanctus, "holy").
Christian groups, such as Seventh-day Adventists, hold to
mortalism, the belief that the human soul is not naturally immortal,
and is unconscious during the intermediate state between bodily death
and resurrection. These
Christians also hold to Annihilationism, the
belief that subsequent to the final judgement, the wicked will cease
to exist rather than suffer everlasting torment. Jehovah's Witnesses
hold to a similar view.
See also: Mass (liturgy),
Reformed worship, and Contemporary worship
Catholic religious objects—the Bible, a crucifix and a
Justin Martyr described 2nd-century
Christian liturgy in his First
Apology (c. 150) to Emperor Antoninus Pius, and his description
remains relevant to the basic structure of
And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country
gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the
writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when
the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts
to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and
pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine
and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers
and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent,
saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation
of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent
a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and
willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited
with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who,
through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in
bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care
of all who are in need.
Thus, as Justin described,
Christians assemble for communal worship on
Sunday, the day of the resurrection, though other liturgical practices
often occur outside this setting. Scripture readings are drawn from
the Old and New Testaments, but especially the gospel accounts. Often
these are arranged on an annual cycle, using a book called a
lectionary. Instruction is given based on these readings, called a
sermon, or homily. There are a variety of congregational prayers,
including thanksgiving, confession and intercession, which occur
throughout the service and take a variety of forms including recited,
responsive, silent, or sung. The Lord's Prayer, or Our Father, is
Protestant worship band leading a contemporary worship
Some groups depart from this traditional liturgical structure. A
division is often made between "High" church services, characterized
by greater solemnity and ritual, and "Low" services, but even within
these two categories there is great diversity in forms of worship.
Seventh-day Adventists meet on Saturday, while others do not meet on a
weekly basis. Charismatic or
Pentecostal congregations may
spontaneously feel led by the
Holy Spirit to action rather than follow
a formal order of service, including spontaneous prayer.
quietly until moved by the
Holy Spirit to speak.
Some evangelical services resemble concerts with rock and pop music,
dancing and use of multimedia. For groups which do not recognize a
priesthood distinct from ordinary believers the services are generally
led by a minister, preacher, or pastor. Still others may lack any
formal leaders, either in principle or by local necessity. Some
churches use only a cappella music, either on principle (for example,
Churches of Christ
Churches of Christ object to the use of instruments in worship)
or by tradition (as in Orthodoxy).
Nearly all forms of churchmanship celebrate the
Communion), which consists of a consecrated meal. It is reenacted in
accordance with Jesus' instruction at the
Last Supper that his
followers do in remembrance of him as when he gave his disciples
bread, saying, "This is my body", and gave them wine saying, "This is
my blood". Some
Christian denominations practice closed
communion. They offer communion to those who are already united in
that denomination or sometimes individual church. Catholics restrict
participation to their members who are not in a state of mortal sin.
Most other churches practice open communion since they view communion
as a means to unity, rather than an end, and invite all believing
Christians to participate.
Worship can be varied for special events like baptisms or weddings in
the service or significant feast days. In the early church, Christians
and those yet to complete initiation would separate for the
Eucharistic part of the worship. In many churches today, adults and
children will separate for all or some of the service to receive
age-appropriate teaching. Such children's worship is often called
Sunday school or
Sabbath school (Sunday schools are often held before
rather than during services).
Main article: Sacrament
See also: Sacraments of the
Anglican sacraments, and
2nd-century description of the Eucharist
And this food is called among us Eukaristia [the Eucharist], of which
no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things
which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that
is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so
living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common
drink do we receive these; but in like manner as
Jesus Christ our
Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and
blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food
which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood
and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of
Jesus who was made flesh.
Christian belief and practice, a sacrament is a rite, instituted by
Christ, that confers grace, constituting a sacred mystery. The term is
derived from the
Latin word sacramentum, which was used to translate
the Greek word for mystery. Views concerning both which rites are
sacramental, and what it means for an act to be a sacrament, vary
Christian denominations and traditions.
The most conventional functional definition of a sacrament is that it
is an outward sign, instituted by Christ, that conveys an inward,
spiritual grace through Christ. The two most widely accepted
Baptism and the
Eucharist (or Holy Communion), however,
the majority of
Christians also recognize five additional sacraments:
Chrismation in the Orthodox tradition), Holy orders
Penance (or Confession),
Anointing of the Sick and
Christian views on marriage).
Taken together, these are the Seven Sacraments as recognized by
churches in the
High Church tradition—notably Roman Catholic,
Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Independent Catholic, Old
Catholic, many Anglicans and some Lutherans. Most other denominations
and traditions typically affirm only
sacraments, while some
Protestant groups, such as the Quakers, reject
Christian denominations, such as Baptists,
which believe these rites do not communicate grace, prefer to call
Baptism and Holy Communion ordinances rather than sacraments.
In addition to this, the
Church of the East
Church of the East has two additional
sacraments in place of the traditional sacraments of
Matrimony and the
Anointing of the Sick. These include
Holy Leaven (Melka) and the sign
of the cross.
Baptism, specifically infant baptism, in the
A penitent confessing his sins in a Ukrainian
Methodist minister celebrating the Eucharist
Confirmation being administered in an
Ordination of a priest in the
Eastern Orthodox tradition
Crowning during Holy
Matrimony in the Syro-Malabar
Service of the
Sacrament of Holy Unction served on Great and Holy
Main article: Liturgical year
See also: Calendar of saints
A depiction of the Nativity with a
Christmas tree backdrop
Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Eastern
Christians and traditional
Protestant communities frame worship around the liturgical year. The
liturgical cycle divides the year into a series of seasons, each with
their theological emphases, and modes of prayer, which can be
signified by different ways of decorating churches, colours of
paraments and vestments for clergy, scriptural readings, themes
for preaching and even different traditions and practices often
observed personally or in the home.
Christian liturgical calendars are based on the cycle of the
Rite of the
Catholic Church, and Eastern
analogous calendars based on the cycle of their respective rites.
Calendars set aside holy days, such as solemnities which commemorate
an event in the life of Jesus, Mary or the saints, and periods of
fasting, such as
Lent and other pious events such as memoria or lesser
festivals commemorating saints.
Christian groups that do not follow a
liturgical tradition often retain certain celebrations, such as
Easter and Pentecost: these are the celebrations of
Christ's birth, resurrection and the descent of the
Holy Spirit upon
the Church, respectively. A few denominations make no use of a
The cross and the fish are two common symbols of
Jesus Christ. The
letters of the Greek word
Ichthys (fish) form an acronym
for "Ίησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ",
which translates into English as "
Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior".
Christianity has not generally practiced aniconism, or the avoidance
or prohibition of types of images, even if the early
sects, as well as some modern denominations, preferred to some extent
not to use figures in their symbols, by invoking the Decalogue's
prohibition of idolatry.
The cross, which is today one of the most widely recognized symbols in
the world, was used as a
Christian symbol from the earliest
times. Tertullian, in his book De Corona, tells how it was
already a tradition for
Christians to trace repeatedly on their
foreheads the sign of the cross. Although the cross was known to
the early Christians, the crucifix did not appear in use until the
Among the symbols employed by the primitive Christians, that of the
Ichthys seems to have ranked first in importance. From
monumental sources such as tombs it is known that the symbolic fish
was familiar to
Christians from the earliest times. The fish was
depicted as a
Christian symbol in the first decades of the
2nd century. Its popularity among
Christians was due
principally, it would seem, to the famous acrostic consisting of the
initial letters of five Greek words forming the word for fish
(Ichthys), which words briefly but clearly described the character of
Christ and the claim to worship of believers: Iesous Christos Theou
Yios Soter (Ίησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός,
Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.
Christian symbols include the chi-rho monogram, the dove
(symbolic of the Holy Spirit), the sacrificial lamb (symbolic of
Christ's sacrifice), the vine (symbolizing the necessary connectedness
Christian with Christ) and many others. These all derive from
writings found in the New Testament.
Main article: Baptism
The baptism of
Jesus depicted by Almeida Júnior
Baptism is the ritual act, with the use of water, by which a person is
admitted to membership of the Church. Beliefs on baptism vary among
denominations. Differences occur firstly on whether the act has any
spiritual significance. Some, such as the
Catholic and Eastern
Orthodox churches, as well as
Lutherans and Anglicans, hold to the
doctrine of baptismal regeneration, which affirms that baptism creates
or strengthens a person's faith, and is intimately linked to
salvation. Others view baptism as a purely symbolic act, an external
public declaration of the inward change which has taken place in the
person, but not as spiritually efficacious. Secondly, there are
differences of opinion on the methodology of the act. These methods
are: by immersion; if immersion is total, by submersion; by affusion
(pouring); and by aspersion (sprinkling). Those who hold the first
view may also adhere to the tradition of infant baptism; the
Orthodox Churches all practice infant baptism and always baptize by
total immersion repeated three times in the name of the Father, the
Son and the Holy Spirit. The
Catholic Church also practices
infant baptism, usually by affusion, and utilizing the
Prayer in Christianity
Jesus' teaching on prayer in the
Sermon on the Mount displays a
distinct lack of interest in the external aspects of prayer. A concern
with the techniques of prayer is condemned as 'pagan', and instead a
simple trust in God's fatherly goodness is encouraged.[Mat. 6:5–15]
Elsewhere in the
New Testament this same freedom of access to
also emphasized.[Phil. 4:6][Jam. 5:13–19] This confident position
should be understood in light of
Christian belief in the unique
relationship between the believer and Christ through the indwelling of
the Holy Spirit.
Christian traditions, certain physical gestures are
emphasized, including medieval gestures such as genuflection or making
the sign of the cross. Kneeling, bowing and prostrations (see also
poklon) are often practiced in more traditional branches of
Christianity. Frequently in
Western Christianity the hands are placed
palms together and forward as in the feudal commendation ceremony. At
other times the older orans posture may be used, with palms up and
Intercessory prayer is prayer offered for the benefit of other people.
There are many intercessory prayers recorded in the Bible, including
prayers of the
Apostle Peter on behalf of sick persons[Acts 9:40] and
by prophets of the
Old Testament in favor of other people.[1Ki
17:19–22] In the Epistle of James, no distinction is made between
the intercessory prayer offered by ordinary believers and the
Old Testament prophet Elijah.[Jam 5:16–18] The
effectiveness of prayer in
Christianity derives from the power of God
rather than the status of the one praying.
The ancient church, in both
Eastern Christianity and Western
Christianity, developed a tradition of asking for the intercession of
(deceased) saints, and this remains the practice of most Eastern
Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and some Anglican
churches. Churches of the
Protestant Reformation, however, rejected
prayer to the saints, largely on the basis of the sole mediatorship of
Christ. The reformer Huldrych
Zwingli admitted that he had
offered prayers to the saints until his reading of the
him that this was idolatrous.
According to the Catechism of the
Catholic Church: "
Prayer is the
raising of one's mind and heart to
God or the requesting of good
things from God." The
Book of Common
Prayer in the Anglican
tradition is a guide which provides a set order for church services,
containing set prayers, scripture readings, and hymns or sung Psalms.
Main article: History of Christianity
Early Church and Christological Councils
Main articles: Origins of Christianity, Early Christianity, and First
seven Ecumenical Councils
Saint Ananias, Damascus, Syria, an early example of a
Christian house of worship; built in the 1st century AD
An early circular ichthys symbol, created by combining the Greek
ΙΧΘΥΣ into a wheel. Ephesus, Asia Minor.
Kadisha Valley, Lebanon, home to some of the earliest Christian
monasteries in the world
Christianity began as a
Jewish sect in the
Levant of the middle east
in the mid-1st century. Other than Second Temple Judaism, the
primary religious influences of early
Christianity are Zoroastrianism
and Gnosticism.[note 2] John Bowker states that Christian
ideas such as "angels, the end of the world, a final judgment, the
resurrection and heaven and hell received form and substance from ...
Zoroastrian beliefs". Its earliest development took place under
the leadership of the remaining Twelve Apostles, particularly Saint
Peter, and Paul the Apostle, followed by the early bishops, whom
Christians consider the successors of the Apostles.
According to the
Christians were from the
beginning subject to persecution by some
Jewish and Roman religious
authorities, who disagreed with the apostles' teachings (See Split of
Christianity and Judaism). This involved punishments, including
Christians such as Stephen[Acts 7:59] and James, son of
Zebedee.[Acts 12:2] Larger-scale persecutions followed at the hands of
the authorities of the Roman Empire, first in the year 64, when
Emperor Nero blamed them for the Great Fire of Rome. According to
Church tradition, it was under Nero's persecution that early Church
leaders Peter and
Paul of Tarsus
Paul of Tarsus were each martyred in Rome.
Further widespread persecutions of the Church occurred under nine
subsequent Roman emperors, most intensely under
Decius and Diocletian.
From the year 150,
Christian teachers began to produce theological and
apologetic works aimed at defending the faith. These authors are known
as the Church Fathers, and study of them is called Patristics. Notable
early Fathers include Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, Justin Martyr,
Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of
Alexandria and Origen. However,
Armenia is considered the first nation to accept
Christianity in AD
King Trdat IV made
Christianity the state religion in
301 and 314, it was not an entirely new religion in Armenia. It
penetrated into the country from at least the third century, but may
have been present even earlier.
End of Roman persecution under Emperor Constantine (AD 313)
An example of Byzantine pictorial art, the
Deësis mosaic at the Hagia
Sophia in Constantinople
State persecution ceased in the 4th century, when Constantine I
issued an edict of toleration in 313. On 27 February 380, Emperor
Theodosius I enacted a law establishing Nicene
Christianity as the
state church of the Roman Empire. From at least the
Christianity has played a prominent role in the
shaping of Western civilization.
Constantine was also instrumental in the convocation of the First
Council of Nicaea in 325, which sought to address the Arian heresy and
formulated the Nicene Creed, which is still used by the Catholic
Church, Eastern Orthodoxy,
Anglican Communion and many Protestant
churches. Nicaea was the first of a series of Ecumenical
(worldwide) Councils which formally defined critical elements of the
theology of the Church, notably concerning Christology. The
Assyrian Church of the East
Assyrian Church of the East did not accept the third and following
Ecumenical Councils, and are still separate today.
The presence of
Christianity in Africa
Christianity in Africa began in the middle of the
1st century in Egypt, and by the end of the 2nd century in
the region around Carthage.
Mark the Evangelist
Mark the Evangelist started the Coptic
Orthodox Church of
Alexandria in about AD 43. Important
Africans who influenced the early development of
Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria,
Origen of Alexandria, Cyprian,
Athanasius and Augustine of Hippo. The later rise of
Islam in North
Africa reduced the size and numbers of
leaving only the Coptic Church in Egypt, the Ethiopian Orthodox
Tewahedo Church in the
Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa and the Nubian Church in the
Sudan (Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia).
In terms of prosperity and cultural life, the
Byzantine Empire was one
of the peaks in
Christian history and
Christian civilization, and
Constantinople remained the leading city of the
Christian world in
size, wealth and culture. There was a renewed interest in
classical Greek philosophy, as well as an increase in literary output
in vernacular Greek.
Byzantine art and literature held a
pre-eminent place in Europe, and the cultural impact of Byzantine art
on the west during this period was enormous and of long lasting
Early Middle Ages
With the decline and fall of the
Roman Empire in the west, the papacy
became a political player, first visible in
Pope Leo's diplomatic
dealings with Huns and Vandals. The church also entered into a
long period of missionary activity and expansion among the various
tribes. While Arianists instituted the death penalty for practicing
Massacre of Verden
Massacre of Verden as example),
Catholicism also spread
among the Germanic peoples, the Celtic and Slavic peoples, the
Hungarians and the Baltic peoples.
Christianity has been an important
part of the shaping of Western civilization, at least since the
St. Benedict set out his Monastic Rule, establishing a
system of regulations for the foundation and running of
Monasticism became a powerful force throughout
Europe, and gave rise to many early centers of learning, most
famously in Ireland,
Scotland and Gaul, contributing to the
Carolingian Renaissance of the 9th century.
In the 7th century Muslims conquered
Syria (including Jerusalem),
North Africa and Spain. Part of the Muslims' success was due to the
exhaustion of the
Byzantine empire in its decades long conflict with
Persia. Beginning in the 8th century, with the rise of
Carolingian leaders, the papacy began to find greater political
support in the Frankish Kingdom.
The Middle Ages brought about major changes within the church. Pope
Gregory the Great dramatically reformed ecclesiastical structure and
administration. In the early 8th century, iconoclasm became
a divisive issue, when it was sponsored by the Byzantine emperors. The
Second Ecumenical Council of Nicaea (787) finally pronounced in favor
of icons. In the early 10th century, Western Christian
monasticism was further rejuvenated through the leadership of the
great Benedictine monastery of Cluny.
Hebraism, like Hellenism, has been an all-important factor in the
development of Western Civilization; Judaism, as the precursor of
Christianity, has indirectly had much to do with shaping the ideals
and morality of western nations since the
High and Late Middle Ages
Pope Urban II
Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont, where he preached the First
In the west, from the 11th century onward, older cathedral
schools developed into universities (see
University of Oxford,
University of Paris
University of Paris and
University of Bologna.) The traditional
medieval universities—evolved from
schools—then established specialized academic structures for
properly educating greater numbers of students as professionals. Prof.
Walter Rüegg, editor of A History of the
University in Europe,
reports that universities then only trained students to become
clerics, lawyers, civil servants and physicians.
Originally teaching only theology, universities steadily added
subjects including medicine, philosophy and law, becoming the direct
ancestors of modern institutions of learning. The university is
generally regarded as an institution that has its origin in the
Christian setting. Prior to the establishment of
universities, European higher education took place for hundreds of
Christian cathedral schools or monastic schools (Scholae
monasticae), in which monks and nuns taught classes; evidence of these
immediate forerunners of the later university at many places dates
back to the 6th century AD.
Accompanying the rise of the "new towns" throughout Europe, mendicant
orders were founded, bringing the consecrated religious life out of
the monastery and into the new urban setting. The two principal
mendicant movements were the Franciscans and the Dominicans
founded by St. Francis and
St. Dominic respectively. Both orders made
significant contributions to the development of the great universities
of Europe. Another new order were the Cistercians, whose large
isolated monasteries spearheaded the settlement of former wilderness
areas. In this period church building and ecclesiastical architecture
reached new heights, culminating in the orders of Romanesque and
Gothic architecture and the building of the great European
From 1095 under the pontificate of Urban II, the
launched. These were a series of military campaigns in the Holy
Land and elsewhere, initiated in response to pleas from the Byzantine
Alexios I for aid against Turkish expansion. The Crusades
ultimately failed to stifle Islamic aggression and even contributed to
Christian enmity with the sacking of
Constantinople during the Fourth
Over a period stretching from the 7th to the 13th century, the
Christian Church underwent gradual alienation, resulting in a schism
dividing it into a so-called
Latin or Western
Christian branch, the
Roman Catholic Church, and an Eastern, largely Greek, branch, the
Orthodox Church. These two churches disagree on a number of
administrative, liturgical and doctrinal issues, most notably papal
primacy of jurisdiction. The
Second Council of Lyon
Second Council of Lyon (1274)
Council of Florence
Council of Florence (1439) attempted to reunite the churches,
but in both cases the
Eastern Orthodox refused to implement the
decisions and the two principal churches remain in schism to the
present day. However, the Roman
Catholic Church has achieved union
with various smaller eastern churches.
Beginning around 1184, following the crusade against the Cathar
heresy, various institutions, broadly referred to as the
Inquisition, were established with the aim of suppressing heresy and
securing religious and doctrinal unity within
conversion and prosecution.
Reformation and Counter-Reformation
Martin Luther started the
Reformation in 1517 with the
Ninety-Five Theses, going against the
Catholic interpretation of the
Reformation and Counter-Reformation
See also: European wars of religion
Renaissance brought about a renewed interest in ancient
and classical learning. Another major schism, the Reformation,
resulted in the splintering of the Western
Christendom into several
Martin Luther in 1517 protested against the sale of
indulgences and soon moved on to deny several key points of Roman
Other reformers like Zwingli, Oecolampadius, Calvin, Knox and Arminius
Roman Catholic teaching and worship. These
challenges developed into the movement called Protestantism, which
repudiated the primacy of the pope, the role of tradition, the seven
sacraments and other doctrines and practices. The
England began in 1534, when King Henry VIII had himself declared head
of the Church of England. Beginning in 1536, the monasteries
throughout England, Wales and
Ireland were dissolved.
Andreas Karlstadt and other theologians perceived
both the Roman
Catholic Church and the confessions of the Magisterial
Reformation as corrupted. Their activity brought about the Radical
Reformation, which gave birth to various
Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica, The
Catholic Church was
among the patronages of the Renaissance.
Partly in response to the
Protestant Reformation, the Roman Catholic
Church engaged in a substantial process of reform and renewal, known
as the Counter-
Catholic Reform. The Council of
Trent clarified and reasserted
Roman Catholic doctrine. During the
following centuries, competition between Roman
Protestantism became deeply entangled with political struggles among
Meanwhile, the discovery of America by
Christopher Columbus in 1492
brought about a new wave of missionary activity. Partly from
missionary zeal, but under the impetus of colonial expansion by the
Christianity spread to the Americas, Oceania, East
Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Throughout Europe, the divides caused by the
Reformation led to
outbreaks of religious violence and the establishment of separate
state churches in Europe.
Lutheranism spread into northern, central
and eastern parts of present-day Germany,
Livonia and Scandinavia.
Anglicanism was established in
England in 1534.
Calvinism and its
varieties (such as Presbyterianism) were introduced in Scotland, the
Switzerland and France.
followers in the
Netherlands and Frisia. Ultimately, these differences
led to the outbreak of conflicts in which religion played a key
factor. The Thirty Years' War, the
English Civil War
English Civil War and the French
Religion are prominent examples. These events intensified the
Christian debate on persecution and toleration.
A depiction of
Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child in a 19th-century Kakure Kirishitan
In the era known as the Great Divergence, when in the West the Age of
Enlightenment and the
Scientific revolution brought about great
Christianity was confronted with various forms of
skepticism and with certain modern political ideologies such as
versions of socialism and liberalism. Events ranged from mere
anti-clericalism to violent outbursts against
Christianity such as the
Dechristianisation during the French Revolution, the Spanish
Civil War and certain Marxist movements, especially the Russian
Revolution and the persecution of
Christians in the Soviet Union under
Especially pressing in
Europe was the formation of nation states after
the Napoleonic era. In all European countries, different Christian
denominations found themselves in competition, to greater or lesser
extents, with each other and with the state. Variables are the
relative sizes of the denominations and the religious, political and
ideological orientation of the state. Urs Altermatt of the University
of Fribourg, looking specifically at Catholicisms in Europe,
identifies four models for the European nations. In traditionally
Catholic countries such as Belgium,
Spain and to some extent Austria,
religious and national communities are more or less identical.
Cultural symbiosis and separation are found in Poland,
Switzerland, all countries with competing denominations. Competition
is found in Germany, the
Netherlands and again Switzerland, all
countries with minority
Catholic populations who to a greater or
lesser extent did identify with the nation. Finally, separation
between religion (again, specifically Catholicism) and the state is
found to a great degree in
France and Italy, countries where the state
actively opposed itself to the authority of the
The combined factors of the formation of nation states and
ultramontanism, especially in
Germany and the
Netherlands but also in
England (to a much lesser extent), often forced Catholic
churches, organizations and believers to choose between the national
demands of the state and the authority of the Church, specifically the
papacy. This conflict came to a head in the First Vatican Council, and
Germany would lead directly to the Kulturkampf, where liberals and
Protestants under the leadership of Bismarck managed to severely
Catholic expression and organization.
Christian commitment in
Europe dropped as modernity and secularism
came into their own in Europe, particularly in the Czech Republic
and Estonia, while religious commitments in America have been
generally high in comparison to Europe. The late 20th century has
shown the shift of
Christian adherence to the Third World and southern
hemisphere in general, with the western civilization no longer the
chief standard bearer of Christianity.
Some Europeans (including diaspora), Indigenous peoples of the
Americas and natives of other continents have revived their respective
peoples' historical folk religions. Approximately 7.1 to 10% of Arabs
are Christians, most prevalent in Egypt,
Syria and Lebanon.
Christianity by country,
Christian population growth,
Christian denominations by membership
With around 2.4 billion adherents, split into three main
branches of Catholic,
Protestant and Eastern Orthodox,
the world's largest religion. The
Christian share of the world's
population has stood at around 33% for the last hundred years, which
says that one in three persons on earth are Christians. This masks a
major shift in the demographics of Christianity; large increases in
the developing world have been accompanied by substantial declines in
the developed world, mainly in
Europe and North America.
According to a 2015
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center study, within the next four
Christians will remain the world's largest religion; and by
Christian population is expected to exceed 3
As a percentage of Christians, the
Catholic Church and
Eastern and Oriental) are declining, while
Protestants and other
Christians are on the rise. The so-called popular
Protestantism[note 4] is one of the fastest growing religious
categories in the world.
Christianity is the predominant religion in Europe, the
Southern Africa. In Asia, it is the dominant religion in Georgia,
East Timor and the Philippines. However, it is declining
in many areas including the Northern and Western United States,
Oceania (Australia and New Zealand), northern
Europe (including Great
Britain, Scandinavia and other places), France, Germany, the
Canadian provinces of Ontario,
British Columbia and Quebec, and parts
of Asia (especially the Middle East – due to the Christian
emigration, South Korea, Taiwan, and
Christian population is not decreasing in Brazil, the Southern
United States and the province of Alberta, Canada, but the
percentage is decreasing. In countries such as Australia and New
Christian population are declining in both numbers
Despite the declining numbers,
Christianity remains the dominant
religion in the Western World, where 70% are Christians. A 2011 Pew
Research Center survey found that 76.2% of Europeans, 73.3% in Oceania
and about 86.0% in the
Americas (90.0% in
Latin America and 77.4% in
North America) identified themselves as Christians.
By 2010 about 157 countries and territories in the world had Christian
However, there are many charismatic movements that have become well
established over large parts of the world, especially Africa, Latin
America and Asia. Since 1900, primarily due
Protestantism has spread rapidly in Africa, Asia,
Latin America. From 1960 to 2000, the global growth
of the number of reported
Evangelical Protestants grew three times the
world's population rate, and twice that of Islam. St. Mary's
University study estimated about 10.2 million
Muslim convert to
Christianity in 2015. as well a significant numbers of Muslims
Christianity in Afghanistan, Albania,
Azerbaijan Algeria, Belgium, France,
Germany, Iran, India, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Morocco, Russia, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia,
Tunisia, Turkey, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, United States, and Central
Asia. It is also reported that
Christianity is popular among
people of different backgrounds in India (mostly Hindus),
and Malaysia, Mongolia, Nigeria, Vietnam,
Singapore, Indonesia, China, Japan, and South
In most countries in the developed world, church attendance among
people who continue to identify themselves as
Christians has been
falling over the last few decades. Some sources view this simply
as part of a drift away from traditional membership institutions,
while others link it to signs of a decline in belief in the importance
of religion in general. Europe's
Christian population, though in
decline, still constitutes the largest geographical component of the
religion. According to data from the 2012 European Social Survey,
around a third of European
Christians say they attend services once a
month or more, Conversely about more than two-thirds of Latin
Christians and according to the
World Values Survey about 90%
Christians (in Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda,
South Africa and
Zimbabwe) said they attended church regularly.
Christianity, in one form or another, is the sole state religion of
the following nations: Argentina (Roman Catholic), Tuvalu
Tonga (Methodist), Norway (Lutheran), Costa
Rica (Roman Catholic), Kingdom of Denmark (Lutheran),
England (Anglican), Georgia (Georgian Orthodox), Greece
(Greek Orthodox), Iceland (Lutheran), Liechtenstein (Roman
Catholic), Malta (Roman Catholic), Monaco (Roman
Vatican City (Roman Catholic).
There are numerous other countries, such as Cyprus, which although do
not have an established church, still give official recognition and
support to a specific
Demographics of major traditions within
Christianity (Pew Research
Center, 2010 data)
% of the
% of the world population
Dynamics in- and outside Christianity
The global distribution of Christians: Countries colored a darker
shade have a higher proportion of Christians.
Countries with 50% or more
Christians are colored purple while
countries with 10% to 50%
Christians are colored pink
Christianity as their state religion are in blue
Christianity as their state religion (detailed map; see
legend for more)
Distribution of Roman Catholics
Distribution of Protestants
Distribution of Eastern Orthodox
Distribution of Oriental Orthodox
Christians by number: black - more than 10 million; red - more
than 1 million
Further information: List of
Christian denominations and List of
Christian denominations by number of members
The three primary divisions of
Christianity are Roman Catholicism,
Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism.:14 However, there are
other present and historical
Christian groups that do not
fit neatly into one of these primary categories. The Nicene
accepted as authoritative by most Christians, including the Roman
Catholic, Eastern Orthodox,
Anglican and major Protestant
There is a diversity of doctrines and practices among groups calling
themselves Christian. These groups are sometimes classified under
denominations, though for theological reasons many groups reject this
classification system. A broader distinction that is sometimes
drawn is between
Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity, which
has its origins in the
East–West Schism (Great Schism) of the
In addition to the
Reformed (or Calvinist) branches of
the Reformation, there is
Anglicanism after the English Reformation.
Anabaptist tradition was largely ostracized by the other
Protestant parties at the time, but has achieved a measure of
affirmation in more recent history. Adventist, Baptist, Methodist,
Pentecostal and other
Protestant confessions arose in the following
Pope Francis, the current leader of the
Catholic Church consists of those particular Churches, headed by
bishops, in communion with the Pope, the
Bishop of Rome, as its
highest authority in matters of faith, morality and Church
governance. Like Eastern Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic
Church, through apostolic succession, traces its origins to the
Christian community founded by
Jesus Christ. Catholics
maintain that the "one, holy, catholic and apostolic church" founded
Jesus subsists fully in the
Roman Catholic Church, but also
Christian churches and communities and
works towards reconciliation among all Christians. The Catholic
faith is detailed in the Catechism of the
The 2,834 sees are grouped into 24 particular autonomous Churches
(the largest of which being the
Latin Church), each with its own
distinct traditions regarding the liturgy and the administering the
sacraments. With more than 1.1 billion baptized members, the
Catholic Church is the largest
Christian church and represents over
half of all
Christians as well as one sixth of the world's
Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in
Moscow is the tallest Eastern
Christian church in the world.
Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church consists of those churches in communion
with the Patriarchal Sees of the East, such as the Ecumenical
Patriarch of Constantinople. Like the
Roman Catholic Church, the
Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church also traces its heritage to the foundation of
Christianity through apostolic succession and has an episcopal
structure, though the autonomy of its component parts is emphasized,
and most of them are national churches. A number of conflicts with
Western Christianity over questions of doctrine and authority
culminated in the Great Schism.
Eastern Orthodoxy is the second
largest single denomination in Christianity, with an estimated
225–300 million adherents.
Main article: Oriental Orthodoxy
Oriental Orthodox churches (also called "Old Oriental" churches)
are those eastern churches that recognize the first three ecumenical
Constantinople and Ephesus—but reject the
dogmatic definitions of the
Council of Chalcedon
Council of Chalcedon and instead espouse a
Miaphysite christology. The
Oriental Orthodox communion consists of
six groups: Syriac Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox,
Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (India) and
Armenian Apostolic churches. These six churches, while being in
communion with each other are completely independent
hierarchically. These churches are generally not in communion
Eastern Orthodox Churches with whom they are in dialogue for
erecting a communion.
Assyrian Church of the East
Main article: Assyrian Church of the East
The Assyrian Church of the East, with an unbroken patriarchate
established in the 17th century, is an independent Eastern Christian
denomination which claims continuity from the
Church of the East
Church of the East –
in parallel to the
Catholic patriarchate established in the 16th
century that evolved into the Chaldean
Catholic Church, an Eastern
Catholic church in full communion with the Pope.
Main article: Protestantism
Part of a series on
Modernism and liberalism
In the 16th century, Martin Luther, and subsequently Huldrych
Zwingli and John Calvin, inaugurated what has come to be called
Protestantism. Luther's primary theological heirs are known as
Zwingli and Calvin's heirs are far broader
denominationally, and are broadly referred to as the Reformed
tradition. The oldest
Protestant groups separated from the
Catholic Church in the
Protestant Reformation, often followed by
In the 18th century, for example,
Methodism grew out of Anglican
minister John Wesley's evangelical and revival movement. Several
Pentecostal and non-denominational churches, which emphasize the
cleansing power of the Holy Spirit, in turn grew out of
Methodism. Because Methodists, Pentecostals and other
evangelicals stress "accepting
Jesus as your personal Lord and
Savior", which comes from Wesley's emphasis of the New
Birth, they often refer to themselves as being
Estimates of the total number of
Protestants are very uncertain, but
it seems clear that
Protestantism is the second largest major group of
Christians after Roman
Catholicism in number of followers (although
Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church is larger than any single Protestant
denomination). Often that number is put at more than 800 million,
corresponding to nearly 40% of world's Christians. The majority
Protestants are members of just a handful of denominational
families, i.e. Adventists, Anglicans, Baptists, Reformed
(Calvinists), Lutherans, Methodists and Pentecostals.
Nondenominational, evangelical, charismatic, neo-charismatic,
independent and other churches are on the rise, and constitute a
significant part of
A special grouping are the
Anglican churches descended from the Church
England and organized in the
Anglican Communion. Some Anglican
churches consider themselves both
Protestant and Catholic. Some
Anglicans consider their church a branch of the "One Holy Catholic
Church" alongside of the
Roman Catholic and
Eastern Orthodox churches,
a concept rejected by the Roman
Catholic Church and some Eastern
Lutherans and the
Reformed branches of Protestantism
originated in the Magisterial Reformation, other
such as the
Anabaptists originated in the Radical
Reformation and are
distinguished by their rejection of infant baptism; they believe in
baptism only of adult believers — credobaptism. (
made up mostly of Amish, Mennonites,
Hutterites and Schwarzenau
Baptist groups.) 
Some groups of individuals who hold basic
Protestant tenets identify
themselves simply as "Christians" or "born-again Christians". They
typically distance themselves from the confessionalism and/or
creedalism of other
Christian communities by calling themselves
"non-denominational" or "evangelical". Often founded by individual
pastors, they have little affiliation with historic
Main article: Restorationism
A 19th-century drawing of
Joseph Smith and
Oliver Cowdery receiving
the Aaronic priesthood from John the Baptist. Latter Day Saints
believe that the Priesthood ceased to exist after the death of the
Apostles and therefore needed to be restored.
The Second Great Awakening, a period of religious revival that
occurred in the United States during the early 1800s, saw the
development of a number of unrelated churches. They generally saw
themselves as restoring the original church of
Jesus Christ rather
than reforming one of the existing churches. A common belief held
by Restorationists was that the other divisions of
introduced doctrinal defects into Christianity, which was known as the
Great Apostasy. In Asia,
Iglesia ni Cristo
Iglesia ni Cristo is a known
restorationist religion that was established during the early 1900s.
Some of the churches originating during this period are historically
connected to early 19th-century camp meetings in the Midwest and
Upstate New York. American
Millennialism and Adventism, which arose
Evangelical Protestantism, influenced the Jehovah's Witnesses
movement and, as a reaction specifically to William Miller, the
Seventh-day Adventists. Others, including the
(Disciples of Christ),
Christian Church in
Canada, Churches of Christ, and the
Christian churches and
churches of Christ, have their roots in the contemporaneous
Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement, which was centered in Kentucky
and Tennessee. Other groups originating in this time period include
Christadelphians and Latter Day
Saint movement. While the churches
originating in the
Second Great Awakening
Second Great Awakening have some superficial
similarities, their doctrine and practices vary significantly.
Various smaller Independent
Catholic communities, such as the Old
Catholic Church, include the word
Catholic in their title, and
arguably have more or less liturgical practices in common with the
Catholic Church, but are no longer in full communion with the Holy
Christianity as a mystery
religion, and profess the existence and possession of
certain esoteric doctrines or practices, hidden from the
public but accessible only to a narrow circle of "enlightened",
"initiated", or highly educated people. Some of the esoteric
Christian institutions include the Rosicrucian Fellowship, the
Anthroposophical Society and Martinism.
Judaism (or Messianic Movement) is the name of a Christian
movement comprising a number of streams, whose members may consider
themselves Jewish. The movement originated in the 1960s and 1970s, and
it blends elements of religious
Jewish practice with evangelical
Christian creeds such as the
messiahship and divinity of "Yeshua" (the Hebrew name of Jesus) and
the Triune Nature of God, while also adhering to some
laws and customs.
Christian culture and Role of
Protestant culture, Cultural Christian, and
Christian influences in Islam
Set of pictures showcasing
Christian culture and famous Christian
Western culture, throughout most of its history, has been nearly
Christian culture, and a large portion of the population
of the Western hemisphere can be described as cultural Christians. The
notion of "Europe" and the "Western World" has been intimately
connected with the concept of "
Christianity and Christendom" many even
Christianity for being the link that created a unified
Western culture contained several polytheistic religions during
its early years under the Greek and Roman empires, as the centralized
Roman power waned, the dominance of the
Catholic Church was the only
consistent force in Europe. Until the Age of Enlightenment,
Christian culture guided the course of philosophy, literature, art,
music and science.
Christian disciplines of the respective
arts have subsequently developed into
Christian philosophy, Christian
Christian literature etc.
Christianity has had a significant impact on education as the church
created the bases of the Western system of education, and was the
sponsor of founding universities in the Western world; as the
university is generally regarded as an institution that has its origin
in the Medieval
Christian setting. Historically,
Christianity has often been a patron of science and medicine. It has
been prolific in the foundation of schools, universities and
hospitals, and many
Catholic clergy; Jesuits in
particular, have been active in the sciences throughout
history and have made significant contributions to the development of
Protestantism also has had an important influence on
science. According to the Merton Thesis, there was a positive
correlation between the rise of English
Puritanism and German Pietism
on the one hand and early experimental science on the other. The
Civilizing influence of
Christianity includes social welfare,
founding hospitals, economics (as the
ethic), politics, architecture, literature,
personal hygiene, and family life.
Christians (particularly Nestorian Christians) contributed to
the Arab Islamic Civilization during the reign of the Ummayad and the
Abbasid by translating works of
Greek philosophers to Syriac and
afterwards to Arabic. They also excelled in philosophy,
science, theology and medicine. And many scholars of
House of Wisdom
House of Wisdom were of
Christians have made a myriad of contributions to human progress in a
broad and diverse range of fields, including philosophy,
science and technology, fine arts and
architecture, politics, literatures, music, and
business. According to 100 Years of
Nobel Prizes a review of
Nobel prizes award between 1901 and 2000 reveals that (65.4%) of Nobel
Prizes Laureates, have identified
Christianity in its various forms as
their religious preference.
Postchristianity is the term for the decline of Christianity,
particularly in Europe, Canada, Australia and to a minor degree the
Southern Cone, in the 20th and 21st centuries, considered in
terms of postmodernism. It refers to the loss of Christianity's
monopoly on values and world view in historically
Christians are secular people with a
Christian heritage who
may not believe in the religious claims of Christianity, but who
retain an affinity for the popular culture, art, music and so on
related to it. Another frequent application of the term is to
distinguish political groups in areas of mixed religious backgrounds.
Main article: Ecumenism
Ecumenical worship service at the monastery of
Taizé in France
Christian groups and denominations have long expressed ideals of being
reconciled, and in the 20th century,
Christian ecumenism advanced
in two ways. One way was greater cooperation between groups, such
as the World
Evangelical Alliance founded in 1846 in London or the
Edinburgh Missionary Conference
Edinburgh Missionary Conference of
Protestants in 1910, the Justice,
Peace and Creation Commission of the
World Council of Churches
World Council of Churches founded
in 1948 by
Protestant and Orthodox churches, and similar national
councils like the
National Council of Churches in Australia
National Council of Churches in Australia which
includes Roman Catholics.
The other way was institutional union with United and uniting
churches, a practice that can be traced back to unions between
Lutherans and Calvinists in early 19th-century Germany.
Methodist and Presbyterian churches united in 1925
to form the United Church of Canada, and in 1977 to form the
Uniting Church in Australia. The
Church of South India
Church of South India was formed in
1947 by the union of Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Congregationalist
and Presbyterian churches.
The ecumenical, monastic
Taizé Community is notable for being
composed of more than one hundred brothers from
Catholic traditions. The community emphasizes the reconciliation
of all denominations and its main church, located in Taizé,
Saône-et-Loire, France, is named the "Church of Reconciliation".
The community is internationally known, attracting over 100,000 young
Steps towards reconciliation on a global level were taken in 1965 by
Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches mutually revoking the
excommunications that marked their Great
Schism in 1054; the
Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) working
towards full communion between those churches since 1970; and
Roman Catholic churches signing the Joint
Declaration on the
Doctrine of Justification in 1999 to address
conflicts at the root of the
Protestant Reformation. In 2006, the
Methodist Council, representing all
adopted the declaration.
Criticism and apologetics
Christian apologetics and Criticism of Christianity
A copy of the Summa Theologica, a famous
Christian apologetic work
Criticism of Christianity
Criticism of Christianity and
Christians goes back to the Apostolic
Age, with the
New Testament recording friction between the followers
Jesus and the
Pharisees and scribes (e.g. Matthew 15:1–20 and
Mark 7:1–23). In the 2nd century,
criticized by the Jews on various grounds, e.g. that the prophecies of
Bible could not have been fulfilled by Jesus, given that he
did not have a successful life. Additionally a sacrifice to
remove sins in advance, for everyone or as a human being, did not fit
Jewish sacrifice ritual, furthermore
God is said to judge
people on their deeds instead of their beliefs. One of the
first comprehensive attacks on
Christianity came from the Greek
philosopher Celsus, who wrote The True Word, a polemic criticizing
Christians as being unprofitable members of society. In
response, the church father
Origen published his treatise Contra
Celsum, or Against Celsus, a seminal work of
which systematically addressed Celsus's criticisms and brought
Christianity a level of academic respectability.
By the 3rd century, criticism of
Christianity had mounted, partly
as a defense against it. Wild rumors about
Christians were widely
circulated, claiming that they were atheists and that, as part of
their rituals, they devoured human infants and engaged in incestuous
orgies. The Neoplatonist philosopher Porphyry wrote the
fifteen-volume Adversus Christianos as a comprehensive attack on
Christianity, in part building on the teachings of Plotinus.
By the 12th century, the
Mishneh Torah (i.e.,
Rabbi Moses Maimonides)
Christianity on the grounds of idol worship, in that
Christians attributed divinity to
Jesus who had a physical body.
In the 19th century,
Nietzsche began to write a series of
polemics on the "unnatural" teachings of
Christianity (e.g. sexual
abstinence), and continued his criticism of
Christianity to the end of
his life. In the 20th century, the philosopher Bertrand
Russell expressed his criticism of
Christianity in Why I Am Not a
Christian, formulating his rejection of
Christianity in the setting of
Criticism of Christianity
Criticism of Christianity continues to date, e.g.
Jewish and Muslim
theologians criticize the doctrine of the
Trinity held by most
Christians, stating that this doctrine in effect assumes that there
are three Gods, running against the basic tenet of monotheism.
New Testament scholar
Robert M. Price
Robert M. Price has outlined the possibility
Bible stories are based partly on myth in "The Christ Myth
Theory and its problems".
Christian apologetics aims to present a rational basis for
Christianity. The word "apologetic" comes from the Greek word
"apologeomai", meaning "in defense of".
Christian apologetics has
taken many forms over the centuries, starting with Paul the Apostle.
Thomas Aquinas presented five arguments for God's
existence in the Summa Theologica, while his
Summa contra Gentiles
Summa contra Gentiles was
a major apologetic work. Another famous apologist, G. K.
Chesterton, wrote in the early twentieth century about the benefits of
religion and, specifically, Christianity. Famous for his use of
paradox, Chesterton explained that while
Christianity had the most
mysteries, it was the most practical religion. He pointed to
the advance of
Christian civilizations as proof of its
practicality. The physicist and priest John Polkinghorne, in his
Questions of Truth
Questions of Truth discusses the subject of religion and science, a
topic that other
Christian apologists such as Ravi Zacharias, John
William Lane Craig
William Lane Craig have engaged, with the latter two men
opining that the inflationary Big Bang model is evidence for the
existence of God.
Book: Abrahamic religions
Book: Christianity: A History
Christianity and politics
Christianity and Theosophy
One true church
Outline of Christianity
Ancient Greek Greek: Χριστός Khristós (Latinized as
Christus), translating Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ, Māšîăḥ, meaning
"the anointed one", with the
Latin suffixes -ian and -itas.
^ a b The term "Christian" (Greek Χριστιανός) was first used
in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch[Acts 11:26]
about 44 AD, meaning "followers of Christ". The name was given by
Jewish inhabitants of
Antioch to the disciples of Jesus. In
New Testament the names by which the disciples were known among
themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints", and
"believers". The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity"
(Greek Χριστιανισμός) was by Ignatius of Antioch, around
^ "Good news" is a translation of the
Ancient Greek term
εὐαγγέλιον euangélion, from which the terms evangelical
and evangelism derive.
^ A flexible term; defined as all forms of
Protestantism with the
notable exception of the historical denominations deriving directly
^ a b Christianity's status as monotheistic is affirmed in, among
other sources, the
Catholic Encyclopedia (article "Monotheism");
William F. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity; H. Richard
Niebuhr; About.com, Monotheistic
Religion resources; Kirsch, God
Against the Gods; Woodhead, An Introduction to Christianity; The
Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Monotheism; The New Dictionary of
Cultural Literacy, monotheism; New Dictionary of Theology, Paul, pp.
496–99; Meconi. "
Monotheism in Late Antiquity". p. 111f.
^ Zoll, Rachel (19 December 2011). "Study:
Christian population shifts
from Europe". Associated Press. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
^ a b c "The Global Religious Landscape: Christianity" (PDF). Pew
Research Center. December 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
^ a b 33.39% of ~7.2 billion world population (under the section
'People') "World". The World Factbook. CIA.
^ a b "
Christianity 2015: Religious Diversity and Personal Contact"
(PDF). gordonconwell.edu. January 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
^ a b c d e ANALYSIS (19 December 2011). "Global Christianity". Pew
Research Center. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
^ Woodhead, Linda (2004). Christianity: A Very Short Introduction.
University Press. pp. n.p.
^ Religions in Global Society – Page 146, Peter Beyer – 2006
^ a b Cambridge
University Historical Series, An Essay on Western
Civilization in Its Economic Aspects, p.40: Hebraism, like Hellenism,
has been an all-important factor in the development of Western
Civilization; Judaism, as the precursor of Christianity, has
indirectly had had much to do with shaping the ideals and morality of
western nations since the christian era.
^ a b c Caltron J.H Hayas,
Christianity and Western Civilization
University Press, p.2: "That certain distinctive
features of our
Western civilization — the civilization of western
Europe and of America— have been shaped chiefly by Judaeo – Graeco
Catholic and Protestant."
^ Horst Hutter,
University of New York, Shaping the Future:
Nietzsche's New Regime of the Soul And Its Ascetic Practices (2004),
p.111:three mighty founders of Western culture, namely Socrates,
Jesus, and Plato.
^ Fred Reinhard Dallmayr, Dialogue Among Civilizations: Some Exemplary
Voices (2004), p.22:
Western civilization is also sometimes described
as "Christian" or "Judaeo- Christian" civilization.
Stephen Benko (1984).
Pagan Rome and the Early Christians. Indiana
University Press. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-0-253-34286-7.
^ Doris L. Bergen (9 November 2000). Twisted Cross: The German
Christian Movement in the Third Reich. Univ of North Carolina Press.
pp. 60–. ISBN 978-0-8078-6034-2.
^ Catherine Cory (13 August 2015).
Christian Theological Tradition.
Routledge. pp. 20–. ISBN 978-1-317-34958-7.
^ a b Robinson 2000, p. 229
^ a b Esler. The Early
Christian World. p. 157f.
Religion in the Roman Empire, Wiley-Blackwell, by James B. Rives,
Catholic encyclopedia New Advent
^ McManners, Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, pp. 301–03.
Christian Relations. Amsterdam
University Press. 2006.
ISBN 978-90-5356-938-2. Retrieved 18 October 2007. The enthusiasm
for evangelization among the
Christians was also accompanied by the
awareness that the most immediate problem to solve was how to serve
the huge number of new converts. Simatupang said, if the number of the
Christians were double or triple, then the number of the ministers
should also be doubled or tripled and the tole of the laity should be
Christian service to society through schools,
universities, hospitals and orphanages, should be increased. In
addition, for him the
Christian mission should be involved in the
struggle for justice amid the process of modernization.
^ Fred Kammer (1 May 2004). Doing
Faith Justice. Paulist Press.
p. 77. ISBN 978-0-8091-4227-9. Retrieved 18 October 2007.
Theologians, bishops, and preachers urged the
Christian community to
be as compassionate as their
God was, reiterating that creation was
for all of humanity. They also accepted and developed the
identification of Christ with the poor and the requisite Christian
duty to the poor. Religious congregations and individual charismatic
leaders promoted the development of a number of helping
institutions-hospitals, hospices for pilgrims, orphanages, shelters
for unwed mothers-that laid the foundation for the modern "large
network of hospitals, orphanages and schools, to serve the poor and
society at large."
Christian Church Women: Shapers of a Movement. Chalice Press. March
1994. ISBN 978-0-8272-0463-8. Retrieved 18 October 2007. In the
central provinces of India they established schools, orphanages,
hospitals, and churches, and spread the gospel message in
^ Herbermann, Charles George (1908). The
Catholic Encyclopedia. New
York: Robert Appleton Company,. pp. 272, 273.
^ S. T. Kimbrough, ed. (2005). Orthodox and Wesleyan Scriptural
understanding and practice. St Vladimir's Seminary Press.
^ Olson, The Mosaic of
^ Ehrman, Bart (2003). "Introduction: Recouping Our Losses". Lost
Christianities: the battles for scripture and the faiths we never
knew. Oxford, New York: Oxford
University Press. p. 1.
ISBN 978-0-19-518249-1. Many of these
Christian groups, of
course, refuse to consider other such groups Christian.
^ Avis, Paul (2002) The
Christian Church: An Introduction to the Major
Traditions, SPCK, London, ISBN 0-281-05246-8 paperback
^ White, Howard A. The History of the Church.
^ Cummins, Duane D. (1991). A handbook for Today's Disciples in the
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (Revised ed.). St Louis, MO:
Chalice Press. ISBN 0-8272-1425-1.
^ a b Ron Rhodes, The Complete Guide to
Harvest House Publishers, 2005, ISBN 0-7369-1289-4
^ Pelikan/Hotchkiss, Creeds and Confessions of
Faith in the Christian
^ ""We Believe in One God….": The Nicene
Creed and Mass". Catholics
United for the Fath. February 2005. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
(Registration required (help)).
^ Encyclopedia of Religion, "Arianism".
Catholic Encyclopedia, "Council of Ephesus".
Christian History Institute, First Meeting of the Council of
^ Peter Theodore Farrington (February 2006). "The Oriental Orthodox
Rejection of Chalcedon". Glastonbury Review. The British Orthodox
Church (113). Archived from the original on 19 June 2008.
Pope Leo I, Letter to Flavian
Catholic Encyclopedia, "Athanasian Creed".
^ a b "Our Common Heritage as Christians". The United Methodist
Church. Archived from the original on 14 January 2006. Retrieved 31
^ Metzger/Coogan, Oxford Companion to the Bible, pp. 513, 649.
^ Acts 2:24, 2:31–32, 3:15, 3:26, 4:10, 5:30, 10:40–41, 13:30,
13:34, 13:37, 17:30–31, Romans 10:9, 1 Cor. 15:15, 6:14, 2 Cor.
4:14, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:20, Col 2:12, 1 Thess. 11:10, Heb. 13:20, 1 Pet.
^ Wikisource:Nicene Creed
^ Hanegraaff. Resurrection: The Capstone in the Arch of Christianity.
^ "The Significance of the Death and Resurrection of
Jesus for the
University National. Archived from the
original on 1 September 2007. Retrieved 16 May 2007.
^ John, 5:24, 6:39–40, 6:47, 10:10, 11:25–26, and 17:3
^ This is drawn from a number of sources, especially the early Creeds,
the Catechism of the
Catholic Church, certain theological works, and
various Confessions drafted during the
Reformation including the
Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England, works contained in the
Book of Concord.
^ Fuller, The Foundations of
New Testament Christology, p. 11.
Jesus Seminar conclusion: "in the view of the Seminar, he did not
rise bodily from the dead; the resurrection is based instead on
visionary experiences of Peter, Paul, and Mary."
^ Funk. The Acts of Jesus: What Did
Jesus Really Do?.
^ Lorenzen. Resurrection, Discipleship, Justice: Affirming the
Jesus Christ Today, p. 13.
^ Ball/Johnsson (ed.). The Essential Jesus.
^ a b Eisenbaum, Pamela (Winter 2004). "A Remedy for Having Been Born
of Woman: Jesus, Gentiles, and Genealogy in Romans" (PDF). Journal of
Biblical Literature. 123 (4): 671–702. doi:10.2307/3268465.
JSTOR 3268465. Retrieved 3 April 2009. (Subscription required
^ Wright, N.T. What
Saint Paul Really Said: Was
Paul of Tarsus
Paul of Tarsus the
Real Founder of Christianity? (Oxford, 1997), p. 121.
^ CCC 846; Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 14
^ See quotations from
Council of Trent
Council of Trent on Justification at
^ Westminster Confession, Chapter X Archived 28 May 2014 at the
Spurgeon, A Defense of
Calvinism Archived 10 April 2008 at the Wayback
^ "Grace and Justification". Catechism of the
Archived from the original on 15 August 2010.
^ Definition of the
Fourth Lateran Council
Fourth Lateran Council quoted in Catechism of the
Catholic Church §253.
^ Kelly. Early
Christian Doctrines. pp. 87–90.
^ Alexander. New Dictionary of Biblical Theology. p. 514f.
^ McGrath. Historical Theology. p. 61.
^ Metzger/Coogan. Oxford Companion to the Bible. p. 782.
^ Kelly. The Athanasian Creed.
^ Oxford, "Encyclopedia Of Christianity, pg1207
^ Heidi J. Hornik and Mikeal Carl Parsons, Interpreting
Christian art, Mercer
University Press, 2003,
ISBN 0-86554-850-1, pp. 32–35.
^ Examples of ante-Nicene statements:
Hence all the power of magic became dissolved; and every bond of
wickedness was destroyed, men's ignorance was taken away, and the old
God Himself appearing in the form of a man, for the
renewal of eternal life.
Ignatius of Antioch
Ignatius of Antioch in Letter to the Ephesians, ch.4,
shorter version, Roberts-Donaldson translation
We have also as a Physician the Lord our
Jesus the Christ the
only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards
became also man, of Mary the virgin. For 'the Word was made flesh.'
Being incorporeal, He was in the body; being impassible, He was in a
passable body; being immortal, He was in a mortal body; being life, He
became subject to corruption, that He might free our souls from death
and corruption, and heal them, and might restore them to health, when
they were diseased with ungodliness and wicked lusts
Ignatius of Antioch
Ignatius of Antioch in Letter to the Ephesians, ch.7,
shorter version, Roberts-Donaldson translation
The Church, though dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the
ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples
this faith: ...one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and
earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ
Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in
the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations
of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion,
and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in
the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His manifestation
from heaven in the glory of the Father 'to gather all things in one,'
and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that
to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to
the will of the invisible Father, 'every knee should bow, of things in
heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that
every tongue should confess; to him, and that He should execute just
judgment towards all...
Irenaeus in Against Heresies, ch.X, v.I, Donaldson, Sir
James (1950), Ante Nicene Fathers, Volume 1: Apostolic Fathers, Justin
Martyr, Irenaeus, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.,
For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of
Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the
washing with water
Justin Martyr in First Apology, ch. LXI, Donaldson, Sir James
(1950), Ante Nicene Fathers, Volume 1: Apostolic Fathers, Justin
Martyr, Irenaeus, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
^ Olson, Roger E. (2002). The Trinity. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.
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Theophilus of Antioch
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Tertullian De Pudicitia chapter 21
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^ Pocket Dictionary of Church History Nathan P. Feldmeth p.135
"Unitarianism. Unitarians emerged from
in the sixteenth century with a central focus on the unity of
subsequent denial of the doctrine of the Trinity"
^ Virkler, Henry A. (2007). Ayayo, Karelynne Gerber, ed. Hermeneutics:
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Rapids, USA: Baker Academic. p. 21.
^ "Inspiration and Truth of Sacred Scripture". Catechism of the
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Word of God
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^ a b Ehrman, Bart D. (2005). Misquoting Jesus: the story behind who
Bible and why. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco
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Bible Gateway. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
^ "1 corinthians 11:2–16 NIV – On Covering the Head in
Bible Gateway. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
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^ "Luke 17:20–21 NIV – The Coming of the Kingdom of God". Bible
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^ Catechism of the
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^ Thomas Aquinas, "Whether in Holy Scripture a word may have several
senses" Archived 6 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Catechism of the
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the Wayback Machine.
^ Second Vatican Council, Dei Verbum (V.19) Archived 31 May 2014 at
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^ Catechism of the
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^ Catechism of the
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Keith A. Mathison (2001). "Introduction". The Shape of Sola
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^ a b Foutz, Scott David. "
Martin Luther and Scripture". Quodlibet
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original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
^ Sproul. Knowing Scripture, pp. 45–61; Bahnsen, A Reformed
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Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker
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^ Terry, Milton (1974). Biblical hermeneutics : a treatise on the
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^ e.g., in his commentary on Matthew 1 (§III.1). Matthew Henry
interprets the twin sons of Judah, Phares and Zara, as an allegory of
the Gentile and
Jewish Christians. For a contemporary treatment, see
Glenny, Typology: A Summary Of The Present
^ a b Gill, N.S. "Which Nation First Adopted Christianity?".
About.com. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
Armenia is considered the first
nation to have adopted
Christianity as the state religion in a
traditional date of c. A.D. 301.
^ Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologicum, Supplementum Tertiae Partis
questions 69 through 99
^ Calvin, John. "Institutes of the
Book Three, Ch.
25". www.reformed.org. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
Catholic Encyclopedia, "Particular Judgment".
^ Ott, Grundriß der Dogmatik, p. 566.
^ David Moser, What the Orthodox believe concerning prayer for the
^ Ken Collins, What Happens to Me When I Die?.
^ "Audience of 4 August 1999". Vatican.va. 4 August 1999. Retrieved 19
Catholic Encyclopedia, "The Communion of Saints".
^ "The death that Adam brought into the world is spiritual as well as
physical, and only those who gain entrance into the Kingdom of God
will exist eternally. However, this division will not occur until
Armageddon, when all people will be resurrected and given a chance to
gain eternal life. In the meantime, "the dead are conscious of
nothing." What is God's Purpose for the Earth?" Official Site of
Jehovah's Witnesses. Watchtower, 15 July 2002.
^ a b Justin Martyr,
First Apology §LXVII
^ Ignazio Silone, Bread and Wine (1937).
^ a b c Cross/Livingstone. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian
Church. p. 1435f.
^ Holy Apostolic
Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, Archdiocese of
Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon.
^ a b Fortescue, Adrian (1912). "
Christian Calendar". The Catholic
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^ Hickman. Handbook of the
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Classics Ethereal Library". Ccel.org. 1 June 2005. Retrieved 5 May
^ Minucius Felix speaks of the cross of
Jesus in its familiar form,
likening it to objects with a crossbeam or to a man with arms
outstretched in prayer (Octavius of Minucius Felix, chapter XXIX).
^ "At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out, when
we put on our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at table,
when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all the ordinary
actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign."
(Tertullian, De Corona, chapter 3)
^ a b Dilasser. The Symbols of the Church.
^ a b
Catholic Encyclopedia, "Symbolism of the Fish".
Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we
become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made
sharers in her mission" (Catechism of the
Catholic Church, 1213
Archived 22 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine.); "Holy
Baptism is the
sacrament by which
God adopts us as his children and makes us members
of Christ's Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God"
Book of Common Prayer, 1979, Episcopal ); "
Baptism is the sacrament
of initiation and incorporation into the body of Christ" (By Water and
The Spirit – The Official United
Methodist Understanding of Baptism
(PDF) Archived 13 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.;
"As an initiatory rite into membership of the
Family of God, baptismal
candidates are symbolically purified or washed as their sins have been
forgiven and washed away" (William H. Brackney, Doing
Style – Believer's
Baptism Archived 7 January 2010 at the
^ "After the proclamation of faith, the baptismal water is prayed over
and blessed as the sign of the goodness of God's creation. The person
to be baptized is also prayed over and blessed with sanctified oil as
the sign that his creation by
God is holy and good. And then, after
the solemn proclamation of "Alleluia" (
God be praised), the person is
immersed three times in the water in the name of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit" (
Orthodox Church in America: Baptism).
^ "In the
Orthodox Church we totally immerse, because such total
immersion symbolizes death. What death? The death of the "old, sinful
Baptism we are freed from the dominion of sin, even though
Baptism we retain an inclination and tendency toward evil.",
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, article "
Baptism Archived 30
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^ Catechism of the
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^ Catechism of the
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^ a b Alexander, T. D.; Rosner, B. S, eds. (2001). "Prayer". New
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^ Eusebius of Caesarea, the author of Ecclesiastical History in the
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"Two Thousand years of Coptic Christianity" Otto F.A. Meinardus p28.
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^ Marthaler, Introducing the Catechism of the
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Pope (1997). "Laetamur Magnopere". Vatican. Archived
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^ a b c Adherents.com, Religions by Adherents
^ Zenit.org, "Number of Catholics and Priests Rises Archived 25
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Methodist Central Hall Westminster.
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John Wesley (
Sermon 45)". The United Methodist
Church GBGM. Archived from the original on 13 September 2007.
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Methodist Church GBGM. Archived from the original on 9 January 2008.
Retrieved 31 December 2007.
^ "Total Experience of the Spirit". Warren Wilson College. Archived
from the original on 3 September 2006. Retrieved 31 December
^ This branch was first called
Lutherans who opposed it,
and many within the tradition would prefer to use the word Reformed.
It includes Presbyterians and Congregationalists.
^ World Council of Churches:
Evangelical churches: "Evangelical
churches have grown exponentially in the second half of the 20th
century and continue to show great vitality, especially in the global
South. This resurgence may in part be explained by the phenomenal
Pentecostalism and the emergence of the charismatic
movement, which are closely associated with evangelicalism. However,
there can be no doubt that the evangelical tradition "per se" has
become one of the major components of world Christianity. Evangelicals
also constitute sizable minorities in the traditional
Anglican churches. In regions like Africa and
Latin America, the
boundaries between "evangelical" and "mainline" are rapidly changing
and giving way to new ecclesial realities."
^ Sykes/Booty/Knight. The Study of Anglicanism, p. 219.
^ Gregory Hallam,
Orthodoxy and Ecumenism.
^ Gregory Mathewes-Green, "Whither the Branch Theory?", Anglican
Orthodox Pilgrim Vol. 2, No. 4. Archived 19 May 2012 at the Wayback
^ Benedetto, Robert; Duke, James O. (2008). The New Westminster
Dictionary of Church History. Westminster
John Knox Press. p. 22.
^ Confessionalism is a term employed by historians to refer to "the
creation of fixed identities and systems of beliefs for separate
churches which had previously been more fluid in their
self-understanding, and which had not begun by seeking separate
identities for themselves—they had wanted to be truly
reformed." (MacCulloch, The Reformation: A History, p. xxiv.)
^ "Classification of
Protestant Denominations" (PDF). Pew Forum on
Religion & Public Life / U.S. Religious Landscape Survey.
Retrieved 27 September 2009.
^ McManners, Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, p. 91f.
^ "The Restorationist Movements". Religious Tolerance. Retrieved 31
^ Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People
^ Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions (2009)
Esotericism and the
Science of Religion: Selected Papers
Presented at the 17th Congress
^ Besant, Annie (2001).
Esoteric Christianity or the Lesser Mysteries.
City: Adamant Media Corporation. ISBN 978-1-4021-0029-1.
^ From the Greek ἐσωτερικός (esôterikos, "inner"). The
term esotericism itself was coined in the 17th century. (Oxford
English Dictionary Compact Edition, Volume 1, Oxford
1971, p. 894.)
^ Wouter J. Hanegraaff, Antoine Faivre, Roelof van den Broek,
Jean-Pierre Brach, Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism,
^ "Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: esotericism". Webster.com. 13
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^ "Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: esoteric". Webster.com.
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^ Ariel, Yaakov (2006). "
Christianity Unite! The Unique
Culture of Messianic Judaism". In Gallagher, Eugene V.; Ashcraft, W.
Christian Traditions. Introduction to New and
Alternative Religions in America. 2. Westport, Conn: Greenwood
Publishing Group. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-275-98714-5.
LCCN 2006022954. OCLC 315689134. Retrieved September 9,
2015. For example, Messianic Jews, without exception, believe that the
way to eternal life is through the acceptance of
Jesus as one's
personal savior and that no obedience to the
Jewish law or "works" is
necessary in order to obtain that goal.…Remarkably, it has been
exactly this adherence to the basic
Christian evangelical faith that
has allowed Messianic Jews to adopt and promote
Jewish rites and
customs. They are
Christians in good standing and can retain whatever
cultural attributes and rites they choose.
^ Dawson, Christopher; Glenn Olsen (1961). Crisis in Western Education
(reprint ed.). p. 108. ISBN 9780813216836.
^ a b Koch, Carl (1994). The
Catholic Church: Journey, Wisdom, and
Mission. Early Middle Ages: St. Mary's Press.
^ Koch, Carl (1994). The
Catholic Church: Journey, Wisdom, and
Mission. The Age of Enlightenment: St. Mary's Press.
^ Dawson, Christopher; Olsen, Glenn (1961). Crisis in Western
Education (reprint ed.). ISBN 978-0-8132-1683-6.
Encyclopædia Britannica Forms of
^ a b Hough, Susan Elizabeth (2007), Richter's Scale: Measure of an
Earthquake, Measure of a Man, Princeton
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^ Woods 2005, p. 109.
Encyclopædia Britannica Jesuit
^ Wallace, William A. (1984). Prelude, Galileo and his Sources. The
Heritage of the Collegio Romano in Galileo's Science. N.J.: Princeton
^ Sztompka, 2003
Encyclopædia Britannica Church and social welfare
Encyclopædia Britannica Care for the sick
Encyclopædia Britannica Property, poverty, and the poor,
^ Weber, Max (1905). The
Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of
Encyclopædia Britannica Church and state
^ Sir Banister Fletcher, History of
Architecture on the Comparative
^ Buringh, Eltjo; van Zanden, Jan Luiten: "Charting the 'Rise of the
West': Manuscripts and Printed Books in Europe, A Long-Term
Perspective from the Sixth through Eighteenth Centuries", The Journal
of Economic History, Vol. 69, No. 2 (2009), pp. 409–445 (416,
^ Eveleigh, Bogs (2002). Baths and Basins: The Story of Domestic
Sanitation. Stroud, England: Sutton.
^ Henry Gariepy (2009).
Christianity in Action: The History of the
International Salvation Army. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 16.
Encyclopædia Britannica The tendency to spiritualize and
^ Hill, Donald. Islamic
Science and Engineering. 1993. Edinburgh Univ.
Press. ISBN 0-7486-0455-3, p.4
^ Brague, Rémi (15 April 2009). The Legend of the Middle Ages.
p. 164. ISBN 978-0-226-07080-3.
^ Kitty Ferguson (2011). Pythagoras: His Lives and the Legacy of a
Rational Universe. Icon Books Limited. p. 100.
ISBN 978-1-84831-250-0. It was in the Near and Middle East and
North Africa that the old traditions of teaching and learning
continued, and where
Christian scholars were carefully preserving
ancient texts and knowledge of the ancient Greek language
^ Kaser, Karl (2011). The Balkans and the Near East: Introduction to a
Shared History. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 135.
^ Rémi Brague, Assyrians contributions to the Islamic civilization
^ Britannica, Nestorian
^ Hyman and Walsh
Philosophy in the Middle Ages Indianapolis, 1973, p.
204' Meri, Josef W. and Jere L. Bacharach, Editors, Medieval Islamic
Civilization Vol.1, A-K, Index, 2006, p. 304.
Religion of History's 100 Most Influential People".
Religion of Great Philosophers".
Christian Influences In The Sciences". rae.org. Archived from the
original on 24 September 2015.
^ "World's Greatest Creation Scientists from Y1K to Y2K".
creationsafaris.com. Archived from the original on 15 January
^ "100 Scientists Who Shaped World History".
^ "50 Nobel Laureates and Other Great Scientists Who Believe in
God". Many well-known historical figures who influenced Western
science considered themselves
Christian such as Nicolaus Copernicus,
Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle,
Alessandro Volta, Michael Faraday, William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin
and James Clerk Maxwell.
^ "Religious Affiliation of the World's Greatest Artists".
^ Hall, p. 100.
^ "Wealthy 100 and the 100 Most Influential in Business".
^ Baruch A. Shalev, 100 Years of
Nobel Prizes (2003), Atlantic
Publishers & Distributors, p.57: between 1901 and 2000 reveals
that 654 Laureates belong to 28 different religions. Most (65.4%) have
Christianity in its various forms as their religious
preference. ISBN 978-0935047370
^ G.C. Oosthuizen.
Postchristianity in Africa. C Hurst & Co
Publishers Ltd (31 December 1968). ISBN 0-903983-05-2
^ a b McManners, Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, pp.
^ McManners, Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity. p. 413f.
^ McManners, Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, p. 498.
^ a b The Oxford companion to
Christian thought. Oxford: Oxford
University Press. 2000. p. 694.
^ Oxford, "Encyclopedia Of Christianity, pg. 307.
^ McManners, Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, p. 373.
^ McManners, Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, p. 583.
Methodist Statement" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16
January 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
^ International Standard
Bible Encyclopedia: E-J by Geoffrey W.
Bromiley 1982 ISBN 0-8028-3782-4 page 175
^ Jews and Christians: The Parting of the Ways, A.D. 70 to 135 by
James D. G. Dunn 1999 ISBN 0-8028-4498-7 pages 112–113
^ Asher Norman Twenty-six Reasons why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus
Feldheim Publishers 2007 ISBN 978-0-977-19370-7 page 11
^ Keith Akers The Lost
Religion of Jesus: Simple Living and
Early Christianity Lantern Books 2000
ISBN 978-1-930-05126-3 page 103
^ Ferguson, Everett (1993). Backgrounds of
Early Christianity (second
ed.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
pp. 562–564. ISBN 0-8028-0669-4.
^ a b Olson, Roger E. (1999), The Story of
Christian Theology: Twenty
Tradition & Reform, Downers Grove, Illinois:
InterVarsity Press, p. 101, ISBN 978-0-8308-1505-0
^ Ferguson, Everett (1993). Backgrounds of
Early Christianity (second
ed.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
pp. 556–561. ISBN 0-8028-0669-4.
^ Sherwin-White, A. N. (April 1964). "Why Were the Early Christians
Persecuted? -- An Amendment". Past and Present (27): 23–27.
^ The Encyclopedia of
Christian Literature, Volume 1 by George Thomas
Kurian and James Smith 2010 ISBN 0-8108-6987-X page 527
^ Apologetic Discourse and the Scribal
Tradition by Wayne Campbell
Kannaday 2005 ISBN 90-04-13085-3 pages 32–33
^ A Dictionary Of Jewish-
Christian Relations by Edward Kessler, Neil
Wenborn 2005 ISBN 0-521-82692-6 page 168
^ The Cambridge Companion to
Nietzsche by Bernd Magnus, Kathleen Marie
Higgins 1996 ISBN 0-521-36767-0 pages 90–93
^ Russell on Religion: Selections from the Writings of Bertrand
Russell by Bertrand Russell, Stefan Andersson and Louis Greenspan 1999
ISBN 0-415-18091-0 pages 77–87
^ Christianity: An Introduction by Alister E. McGrath 2006
ISBN 1-4051-0899-1 pp. 125–126.
^ " The Christ Myth Theory and its Problems ", published 2011 by
American Atheist press, Cranford, New Jersey, ISBN 1-57884-017-1
^ Dulles, Avery Robert Cardinal (2005). A History of Apologetics. San
Francisco: Ignatius Press. p. 120. ISBN 0-89870-933-4.
^ L Russ Bush, ed. (1983). Classical Readings in Christian
Apologetics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. p. 275.
^ Hauser, Chris (History major, Dartmouth College class of 2014) (Fall
Faith and Paradox: G.K. Chesterton's
Philosophy of Christian
Paradox". The Dartmouth Apologia: A Journal of
Christian Thought. 6
(1): 16–20. Retrieved 29 March 2015. CS1 maint: Multiple names:
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^ "Christianity". 6 December 2010.
^ Howson, Colin (28 July 2011). Objecting to God. Cambridge University
Press. p. 92. ISBN 9781139498562. Nor is the agreement
coincidental, according to a substantial constituency of religious
apologists, who regard the inflationary Big Bang model as direct
evidence for God. John Lennox, a mathematician at the
Oxford, tells us that 'even if the non-believers don't like it, the
Big Bang fits in exactly with the
Christian narrative of creation'.
William Lane Craig
William Lane Craig is another who claims that the Biblical account
is corroborated by Big Bang cosmology. Lane Craig also claims that
there is a prior proof that there is a
God who created this
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