BY JADEN LOHN
WHAT IS CHRISTIANITY
Christianity is a religion based upon Jesus' life and his teachings. It is the largest religion in the world today with more than 2.2 billion followers. Christianity is divided into many denominations or sects, and the major ones include Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestantism.
Although it is not entirely clear from historian's perspective that Jesus intended to found a new religion, it is clear that a new religion was founded in Jesus' life and teachings. This would not have happened if his grieving followers had not become persuaded of the reality of Jesus' resurrection. Belief in the resurrection was central to the faith of the early Christians.
Christian's believe in one God, which is essentially a trinity of Holy Spirit, Father, and Son. Jesus is also often referred to as the Messiah, or Christ. Most Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that his coming was predicted in the Old Testament of the Bible. Jesus' teachings and his life are documented in the New Testament of the Bible. Aside from Jesus Christ, other prominent figures of Christianity include Jesus' mother Mary, Abraham, the Apostle Paul and John the Baptist.
PLACES OF WORSHIP
HOW IT SPREAD
Christianity spread initially from Jerusalem throughout the Near East, into places such as Aram, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Asia Minor, Jordan and Egypt. In the 4th century it was successively adopted as the state religion by Armenia, Georgia, the Aksumite Empire and the Roman Empire. After the Council of Ephesus in 431, the Nestorian Schism created the Church of the East. The Council of Chalcedon in 451 further divided in to Oriental Orthodoxy and Chalcedonian Christianity. Chalcedonian Christianity divided into the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church in the Great Schism of 1054. The Protestant Reformation which began in the 1500s created new Christian communities that separated from the Roman Catholic Church and have evolved into many different denominations. Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christianity spread to all of Europe in the Middle Ages. Christianity expanded throughout the world during Europe's Age of Exploration from the Renaissance onwards, becoming the world's largest religion.
Baptism in the Christian faith can have different meaning. Some believe it makes the person being baptized a member of the church while others believe it is linked to salvation or that it can strengthen a person's faith.
Christianity teaches that there are seven deadly sins including pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, anger, and sloth.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GROWTH OF CIVILIZATION AND RELIGION
The role of Christianity in civilization has been intricately intertwined with the history and formation of Western society. Throughout its long history the Christian Church has been a major source of social services like schooling and medical care; inspiration for art, culture and philosophy and has been an influential player in politics and religion. The Bible and Christian theology have also strongly influenced Western philosophers and political activists. The teachings of Jesus, such as the Parable of the Good Samaritan, are among the important sources for modern notions of Human Rights and the welfare measures commonly provided by governments in the West. Long held Christian teachings on sexuality and marriage and family life have also been both influential and (in recent times) controversial.
CHRISTIAN VOCABULARY WORDS
Apocalypticism: the belief that the world will soon come to an end; this belief usually includes the notion of a great battle, final judgment, and reward of the good.
Baptism: the Christian rite of initiation, involving immersion in water or sprinkling with water.
Gospel: means "Good news"; an account of the life of Jesus.
Righteousness: Being sinless in the sight of God; also called justification.