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Early Christianity, otherwise called the Early Church or Paleo-Christianity, describes the historical era of the Christian religion up to the First Council of Nicaea in 325. Christianity spread from the Levant, across the Roman Empire, and beyond. Originally, this progression was closely connected to already established Jewish centers in the Holy Land and the Jewish diaspora throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. The first followers of Christianity were Jews who had converted to the faith, i.e. Jewish Christians. Early Christianity contains the Apostolic Age and is followed by, and substantially overlaps with, the Patristic era.
The Apostolic sees claim to have been founded by one or more of the apostles of Jesus, who are said to have dispersed from Jerusalem sometime after the crucifixion of Jesus, c. 26–33, perhaps following the Great Commission. Early Christians gathered in small private homes, known as house churches, but a city's whole Christian community would also be called a "church"—the Greek noun ἐκκλησία (ekklesia) literally means "assembly", "gathering", or "congregation"[not specific enough to verify] but is translated as "church" in most English translations of the New Testament.
Many early Christians were merchants and others who had practical reasons for traveling to Asia Minor, Arabia, the Balkans, the Middle East, North Africa, and other regions. Over 40 such communities were established by the year 100, many in Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor, such as the Seven churches of Asia. By the end of the first century, Christianity had already spread to Rome, Armenia, Greece, and Syria, serving as foundations for the expansive spread of Christianity, eventually throughout the world.
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