Christianity

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.

Cross Jesus Jewelry Rock Christian Faith

Jehovah’s Witnesses and salvation

Jehovah’s Witnesses and salvation Jehovah’s Witnesses believe salvation is a gift from God attained by being part of “God’s organization” and putting faith in Jesus‘ ransom sacrifice. They do not believe in predestination or eternal security. They believe in different forms of resurrection for two groups of Christians. One group, the anointed, go to heaven while the...

Eschatology of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Eschatology of Jehovah’s Witnesses Eschatology of Jehovah’s Witnesses is central to their religious beliefs. They believe that Jesus Christ has been ruling in heaven as king since 1914 (a date they believe was prophesied in Scripture), and that after that time a period of cleansing occurred, resulting in God’s selection of...

A Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Norway.

Jehovah’s Witnesses Beliefs

Jehovah’s Witnesses Beliefs Jehovah’s Witnesses Beliefs are based on the Bible teachings of Charles Taze Russell—founder of the Bible Student movement—and successive presidents of the Watch Tower Society, Joseph Franklin Rutherford, and Nathan Homer Knorr. Since 1976 all doctrinal decisions have been made by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a group of elders at the denomination’s headquarters....

The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, Diocese of California

Assyrian Church of The East

Assyrian Church of The East The Assyrian Church of the East (ʿĒḏtā ḏ-Maḏnḥā ḏ-ʾĀṯūrāyē, كنيسة المشرق الآشورية‎), officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East (Ēḏtā Qaddīštā wa-Šlīḥāytā Qāṯōlīqī ḏ-Maḏnḥā ḏ-ʾĀṯūrāyē; كنيسة المشرق الآشورية الرسولية الجاثلقية المقدسة‎), is an Eastern Christian church that follows the traditional christology and ecclesiology of the historical Church of the East....

Interfaith dialogue in practice

Christianity And Other Religions

Christianity and Other Religions Christianity and other religions documents Christianity‘s relationship with other world religions, and the differences and similarities. Christian views on religious pluralism Classical Christian view Evangelical Christians believe that religious pluralism is heresy and contradicts the Bible. Some Christians have argued that religious pluralism is an invalid or self-contradictory concept. Maximal...

The missionary ship Duff arriving at Tahiti, c. 1797

Christian Mission

Christian Mission A Christian mission is an organized effort to spread Christianity to new converts. Missions involve sending individuals and groups, called missionaries, across boundaries, most commonly geographical boundaries, to carry on evangelism or other activities, such as educational or hospital work. Sometimes individuals are sent and are called missionaries. When groups are sent, they are...

Germantown Mennonite Meetinghouse, built 1770

Mennonites

Mennonites The Mennonites are members of certain Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland. Through his writings, Simons articulated and formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders. The early teachings of the Mennonites were founded on the belief in both the mission and ministry of Jesus, which the...

A map of the worldwide scope of the Church of the Brethren

Church of the Brethren

Church of the Brethren The Church of the Brethren is a Christian denomination with origins in the Schwarzenau Brethren (“Schwarzenau New Baptists”) that was organized in 1708 by Alexander Mack in Schwarzenau, Germany, as a melding of the Radical Pietist and Anabaptist movements. The denomination holds the New Testament as its only creed. Historically, the church has taken a strong stance for nonresistance or pacifism—it is one of the...

Peace Graffiti Street Art Art Children War

Peace Churches

Peace Churches Peace churches are Christian churches, groups or communities advocating Christian pacifism or Biblical nonresistance. The term historic peace churches refers specifically only to three church groups among pacifist churches—Church of the Brethren; Religious Society of Friends (Quakers); and Mennonites, including the Amish, Old Order Mennonite, and Conservative Mennonites—and has been used since the first conference of the peace churches in...

Bible Worship Christian Religious Christianity

Progressive Christianity

Progressive Christianity Progressive Christianity is a “post-liberal movement” within Christianity “that seeks to reform the faith via the insights of post-modernism and a reclaiming of the truth beyond the verifiable historicity and factuality of the passages in the Bible by affirming the truths within the stories that may not have actually...

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Free Christians

Free Christians The term Free Christian refers specifically to individual members and whole congregations within the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. Free Christians do not subscribe to any officially written doctrinal or creedal statement, as found in other churches. Because of their connections with British Unitarianism, they...

Fresco of Christ Pantocrator on the ceiling of Karanlık Kilise Churches of Göreme.

Cappadocian Fathers

Cappadocian Fathers The Cappadocian Fathers, also traditionally known as the Three Cappadocians, are Basil the Great (330–379), who was bishop of Caesarea; Basil’s younger brother Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335 – c. 395), who was bishop of Nyssa; and a close friend, Gregory of Nazianzus (329–389), who became Patriarch of Constantinople. The Cappadocia region, in modern-day Turkey, was an early site of Christian activity,...

Bible The Holy Book Christianity Holy Biblical

Christian Literature

Christian Literature Christian literature is writing that deals with Christian themes and incorporates the Christian world view. This constitutes a huge body of extremely varied writing. Scripture While falling within the strict definition of literature, the Bible is not generally considered literature. However, the Bible has been treated and appreciated as literature; the King James Version in particular...

Pinocchio Nose Lying Nose Long Lie Fairy Tales

Christian Views on Lying

Christian Views on Lying Lying is strongly discouraged or forbidden by most interpretations of Christianity. Arguments for this are based on various biblical passages, especially “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour“, one of the Ten Commandments. Christian theologians disagree as to the exact definition of “lie” and whether it is ever...

Canon law

Canon Law

Canon law Canon law is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical authority (Church leadership), for the government of a Christian organization or church and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law, or operational policy, governing the Catholic Church (both the Latin Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches), the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the individual national churches...

Execution by firing squad of John D. Lee for his role in the Mountain Meadows massacre. Lee's blood was shed on the ground where the massacre had taken place 20 years earlier; nevertheless, Brigham Young said that Lee "has not half atoned for his great crime" (Young 1877, p. 242).

Blood Atonement

Blood Atonement Blood atonement is a disputed doctrine in the history of Mormonism, under which the atonement of Jesus alone does not by itself redeem the Eternal sin. Instead, to atone for this sin, the sinner should be killed in a way that allows their blood to be shed upon the ground as a sacrificial offering, so...

An Ichthys from ancient Ephesus

Christian Symbolism

Christian Symbolism Christian symbolism is the use of symbols, including archetypes, acts, artwork or events, by Christianity. It invests objects or actions with an inner meaning expressing Christian ideas. The Christian symbolism of the early Church was characterized by being understood by initiates only, while after the legalization of Christianity in the Roman Empire...

The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1863–1883, Walters Art Museum). A fanciful scene of damnatio ad bestias in ancient Rome's Circus Maximus beneath the Palatine Hill.

Persecution of Christians

Persecution of Christians The persecution of Christians can be historically traced from the first century of the Christian era to the present day. Christian missionaries and converts to Christianity have both been targets of persecution, sometimes to the point of being martyred for their faith, ever since the emergence of Christianity. Since the emergence of Christian states in Late Antiquity, Christians have also been persecuted by other Christians...

1851 lithograph of Smith's body about to be mutilated (Library of Congress).

Sectarian Violence Among Christian

Sectarian violence among Christians Sectarian violence among Christians has been noted from the time of the first Christian schisms to the present day. Sectarian violence and/or sectarian strife is a form of communal violence which is inspired by sectarianism, that is, between different sects of one particular mode of an ideology or religion within a nation/community. Religious segregation often plays a role in sectarian violence. Late antiquity Andrew...

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