Portal:Christianity
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Portal:Christianity

Welcome To
The Christianity Portal

Introduction

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the Christ, whose coming as the messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, called the Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with about 2.4 billion followers.

Christianity remains culturally diverse in its Western and Eastern branches, as well as in its doctrines concerning justification and the nature of salvation, ecclesiology, ordination, and Christology. Their creeds generally hold in common Jesus as the Son of God--the logos incarnated--who ministered, suffered, and died on a cross, but rose from the dead for the salvation of mankind; as referred to as the gospel, meaning the "good news", in the Bible (scripture). Describing Jesus' life and teachings are the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John with the Jewish Old Testament as the gospel's respected background.

Christianity began as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the 1st century in the Roman province of Judea. Jesus' apostles and their followers spread around the Levant, Europe, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Transcaucasia, Egypt, and Ethiopia, despite initial persecution. It soon attracted gentile God-fearers, which led to a departure from Jewish customs, and, after the Fall of Jerusalem, AD 70 which ended the Temple-based Judaism, Christianity slowly separated from Judaism. Emperor Constantine the Great decriminalized Christianity in the Roman Empire by the Edict of Milan (313), later convening the Council of Nicaea (325) where Early Christianity was consolidated into what would become the State church of the Roman Empire (380). The early history of Christianity's united church before major schisms is sometimes referred to as the "Great Church". The Church of the East split after the Council of Ephesus (431) and Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon (451) over differences in Christology, while the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East-West Schism (1054), especially over the authority of the bishop of Rome. Protestantism split in numerous denominations from the Latin Catholic Church in the Reformation era (16th century) over theological and ecclesiological disputes, most predominantly on the issue of justification and papal primacy. Christianity played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization, particularly in Europe from late antiquity and the Middle Ages. Following the Age of Discovery (15th-17th century), Christianity was spread into the Americas, Oceania, sub-Saharan Africa, and the rest of the world via missionary work.

The four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church (1.3 billion/50.1%), Protestantism (920 million/36.7%), the Eastern Orthodox Church (230 million) and Oriental Orthodoxy (62 million/Orthodoxy combined at 11.9%), amid various efforts toward unity (ecumenism). Despite a decline in adherence in the West, Christianity remains the dominant religion in the region, with about 70% of the population identifying as Christian. Christianity is growing in Africa and Asia, the world's most populous continents. Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, especially in the Middle-East, North Africa, East Asia, and South Asia.

Selected article

Global Roman Catholic population
The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church (see terminology) is the Christian church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Francis. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter.

The Catholic Church is by far the largest Christian church and the largest organized body of any world religion. According to the Statistical Yearbook of the Church, the Catholic Church's worldwide recorded membership at the end of 2005 was 1,114,966,000, approximately one-sixth of the world's population.

The worldwide Catholic Church is made up of one Western or Latin and 22 Eastern Catholic particular churches, all of which look to the Bishop of Rome, alone or along with the College of Bishops, as their highest authority on earth for matters of faith, morals and church governance. It is divided into jurisdictional areas, usually on a territorial basis. The standard territorial unit, each of which is headed by a bishop, is called a diocese in the Latin church and an eparchy in the Eastern churches. At the end of 2006, the total number of all these jurisdictional areas (or "Sees") was 2,782.

Selected scripture

Jesus taught turning the other cheek during the Sermon on the Mount
"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'
But I tell you, don't resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. If anyone sues you to take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and don't turn away him who desires to borrow from you.
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven.
For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don't even the tax collectors do the same?
If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don't even the tax collectors do the same?
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

Selected biography

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

The process to have MacKillop declared a saint began in the 1920s, and she was beatified in January 1995 by Pope John Paul II. Pope Benedict XVI prayed at her tomb during his visit to Sydney for World Youth Day 2008 and in December 2009 approved the Catholic Church's recognition of a second miracle attributed to her intercession. She was canonised on 17 October 2010, during a public ceremony in St Peter's Square at the Vatican. She is the first Australian to be recognised by the Catholic Church as a saint. Mary MacKillop is the patron saint of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane. Read more...

Selected image

Last Judgment

The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord or in Islam Yawm al-Qiy?mah or Yawm ad-Din is part of the eschatological world view of the Abrahamic religions and in the Frashokereti of Zoroastrianism.

Did you know...

...that Seventh-day Adventists believe that the Roman Catholic Church did not have the authority to change the Biblical Sabbath, and therefore keep Saturdays holy instead of Sunday?
...that one of the most often quoted verses from the Bible is John 3:16:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life"?
...that Ukrainian Eastern Catholic Josyf Cardinal Slipyj's 20 year internment in a Siberian Soviet labor camp and later rise to the rank of Cardinal inspired the 1963 novel The Shoes of the Fisherman, a number 1 best seller on the Publishers Weekly fiction list?
...that Christian demonology has assigned the colors red and black to represent Satan?

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