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Early Christianity (up to the First Council of Nicaea in 325) spread from the Eastern Mediterranean throughout the Roman Empire and beyond. Originally, this progression was closely connected to already established Jewish centers in the Holy Land and the Jewish diaspora. The first followers of Christianity were Jews or proselytes, commonly referred to as Jewish Christians and God-fearers.

The Apostolic sees claim to have been founded by one or more of the apostles of Jesus, who are said to have dispersed from Jerusalem sometime after the crucifixion of Jesus, c. 26–36, perhaps following the Great Commission. Early Christians gathered in small private homes,[1] known as house churches, but a city's whole Christian community would also be called a church – the Greek noun ἐκκλησία literally means assembly, gathering, or congregation[2][3] but is translated as church in most English translations of the New Testament.

Many of these Early Christians were merchants and others who had practical reasons for traveling to northern Africa, Asia Minor, Arabia, Greece, and other places.[4][5][6] Over 40 such communities were established by the year 100,[5][6] many in Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor, such as the Seven churches of Asia. By the end of the first century, Christianity had already spread to Rome and major cities in Armenia, Greece and Syria, serving as foundations for the expansive spread of Christianity, eventually throughout the world.

Eastern Roman Empire

Jerusalem