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Christianity (from the Ancient Greek word Χριστός, Khristos, "Christ", literally "anointed one") is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings. Adherents of the Christian faith are known as Christians.Christianity was founded in the early 1st century AD, with the teaching, miracles, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Today it is the largest religion in the world, with around 2 billion followers. Especially dominant in the western world, today's Christianity has a wide variety of forms, beliefs and practices but all center around faith in Jesus Christ.


Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, God having become human and the saviour of humanity. Because of this, Christians commonly refer to Jesus as Christ or Messiah.The three largest groups in the world of Christianity are the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox churches, and the various denominations of Protestantism. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox patriarchates split from one another in the East–West Schism of 1054 AD, and Protestantism came into existence during the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, splitting from the Roman Catholic Church.

Christianity began as a Jewish sect in the mid-1st century.Originating in the eastern Mediterranean coast of the Middle East (modern Israel and Palestine), it quickly spread to Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor and Egypt. It grew in size and influence over a few decades, and by the 4th century had become the dominant religion within the Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages, most of the remainder of Europe was Christianized, with Christians also being a sometimes large religious minority in the Middle East, North Africa, Ethiopia and parts of India. Following the Age of Discovery, through missionary work and colonization, Christianity spread to the Americas, Australasia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the rest of the world.

Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, referred to as the "Old Testament" in Christianity. The foundation of Christian theology is expressed in the early Christian ecumenical creeds which contain claims predominantly accepted by followers of the Christian faith. These professions state that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, and was resurrected from the dead in order to grant eternal life to those who believe in him and trust him for the remission of their sins (salvation). They further maintain that Jesus bodily ascended into heaven where he rules and reigns with God the Father. Most denominations teach that Jesus will return to judge all humans, living and dead, and grant eternal life to his followers. He is considered the model of a virtuous life, and both the revealer and physical incarnation of God. Christians call the message of Jesus Christ the Gospel ("good news") and hence refer to the earliest written accounts of his ministry as gospels.

As of the early 21st century, Christianity has approximately 2.2 billion adherents. Christianity represents about a quarter to a third of the world's population and is the world's largest religion. Christianity is the state religion of several countries.[23] Among all Christians, 37.5% live in the Americas, 25.7% live in Europe, 22.5% live in Africa, 13.1% live in Asia, 1.2% live in Oceania and 0.9% live in the Middle East.


This section provides basic facts on Christianity in a quick, at-a-glance format. Here you can get a general sense of the Christian faith before exploring it in greater depth, get the basics in order to compare Christianity to other religions, study for a test on Christianity, play a Christian trivia game, or just learn something new.


Date founded: c. 33 AD

Place founded: Palestine

Founder: Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish carpenter

Adherents: 2 billion

largest world religion; See Religion Statistics

Main location:


North America

South America

Major sects (denominations):

Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant

Sacred texts:

The Bible, comprised of the Old Testament and New Testament

Original languages:

Aramaic, Greek, Latin

Other beliefs:

Angels, Devils & Demons, Holy Spirit, Mary, Purgatory, Salvation, Stigmata

Religious professionals:

Priest; bishop; archbishop; patriarch; pope; pastor; minister; preacher; deacon

House of worship:

Church, chapel, cathedral, basilica, meeting hall

Type of theism:

Trinitarian Monotheism

Ultimate reality:

One God (a Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit)

Human nature:

Created good but now born sinful

Purpose of life:

Know, love and serve God

How to live:

Have faith in the true God and Christ's resurrection, do good works, participate in sacraments


Resurrection of body and soul, purgatory (Catholic and Orthodox), and eternal heaven or hell


Cross, dove, anchor, fish, alpha and omega, chi rho

Major holidays:

Advent (Nov. 30 - Dec. 24)

Christmas (Dec. 25)

Epiphany (Jan. 6)

Lent (40-day period prior to Easter)

Good Friday (last Friday before Easter)

Easter (date varies)

All Saint's Day (Nov. 1)

Books of the New Testament :

Gospel of Matthew

Gospel of Mark

Gospel of Luke

Gospel of John

Acts of the Apostles


1 Corinthians

2 Corinthians





1 Thessalonians

2 Thessalonians

1 Timothy

2 Timothy





1 Peter

2 Peter

1 John

2 John

3 John




Two Greatest Commandments

1. Love God with your heart, soul and mind.

2. Love your neighbor as yourself. {4}

Four Last Things

1. second coming

2. judgment

3. heaven

4. hell


Seven Deadly Sins

1. pride

2. greed

3. lust

4. envy

5. gluttony

6. anger

7. sloth

Seven Ecumenical Councils

1. Council of Nicea (325 AD)

2. Council of Constantinople (381)

3. Council of Ephesus (431)

4. Council of Chalcedon (451)

5. Second Council of Constantinople (553)

6. Third Council of Constantinople (681)

7. Second Council of Nicea (787)

Twelve Apostles

1. James, son of Zebedee

2. John, son of Zebedee

3. Philip

4. Bartholomew

5. Thomas

6. Andrew (Peter's brother)

7. Simon Peter

8. Matthew the tax collector

9. James, son of Alphaeus

10. Simon the Zealot

11. Judas Iscariot

12. Thaddaeus {5}



Fourteen Stations of the Cross

1. Jesus is condemned to death

2. The cross is laid upon him

3. Jesus' first fall

4. Jesus meets Mary

5. Simon of Cyrene bears the cross

6. Veronica wipes Jesus' face

7. Jesus' second fall

8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

9. Jesus' third fall

10. Jesus is stripped of his garments

11. Jesus is crucified

12. Jesus dies

13. Jesus' body is taken down

14. Jesus's body is laid in the tomb

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