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Abrahamic religion based on the life of Jesus / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Christianity (/krɪsiˈænɪti/) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus. It is the world's largest and most widespread religion with roughly 2.4 billion followers representing one-third of the global population. Its adherents, known as Christians, are estimated to make up a majority of the population in 157 countries and territories. Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Bible (called the Old Testament in Christianity) and chronicled in the New Testament.

Quick facts: Christianity, Type, Classification, Scripture...
TypeUniversal religion
LanguageAramaic, Biblical Hebrew, Koine Greek, Ecclesiastical Latin and various regional languages
Origin1st century AD
Judaea, Roman Empire
Separated fromSecond Temple Judaism
Number of followersc.2.4 billion (referred to as Christians)

Christianity remains culturally diverse in its Western and Eastern branches, and doctrinally diverse concerning justification and the nature of salvation, ecclesiology, ordination, and Christology. The creeds of various Christian denominations 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 humankind; and referred to as the gospel, meaning the "good news". The four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John describe Jesus's life and teachings, with the Old Testament as the gospels' respected background.

Christianity began in the 1st century after the birth of Jesus as a Judaic sect with Hellenistic influence, in the Roman province of Judea. The disciples of Jesus spread their faith around the Eastern Mediterranean area, despite significant persecution. The inclusion of Gentiles led Christianity to slowly separate from Judaism (2nd century). Emperor Constantine I 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 religion of the Roman Empire (380). The Church of the East and Oriental Orthodoxy both split over differences in Christology (5th century), while the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism (1054). Protestantism split into numerous denominations from the Catholic Church in the Reformation era (16th century). Following the Age of Discovery (15th–17th century), Christianity expanded throughout the world via missionary work, extensive trade and colonialism. Christianity played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization, particularly in Europe from late antiquity and the Middle Ages.

The six major branches of Christianity are Roman Catholicism (1.3 billion people), Protestantism (800 million),[note 1] Eastern Orthodoxy (220 million), Oriental Orthodoxy (60 million), Restorationism (35 million),[note 2] and the Church of the East (600 thousand). Smaller church communities number in the thousands despite efforts toward unity (ecumenism). In the West, Christianity remains the dominant religion even with a decline in adherence, with about 70% of that population identifying as Christian. Christianity is growing in Africa and Asia, the world's most populous continents. Christians remain greatly persecuted in many regions of the world, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa, East Asia, and South Asia.

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