Christianity (from the Ancient Greek word Khristos, "Christ", literally "anointed one") is a monotheistic and Abrahamic 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.
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 saving work of Christ on the cross is often referred to as the Gospel message, or good news. 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. 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.
Though there are many important differences of interpretation and opinion of the Bible on which Christianity is based, Christians share a set of beliefs that they hold as essential to their faith.
Religious beliefs throughout history have always spoken about gods who return at the end .... of what? That's a good question. To understand what happens next, who we are, why gods were created as saviors, is to understand the nature of reality as a consciousness hologram in which we experiences at this and other levels of consciousness simultaneously. The bottom line ... no one is coming back. Time is an illusion or dream. Jesus may or may not have existed. When the truth is revealed at the end of time, people will feel silly and deceived to have believed in any religion or imaginary and fictitious gods.
Religion is based on legend and oral tradition about mythological gods and goddesses who created, and watch over humanity, and will one day return. For those who research and study Ancient Alien Theory, these gods were aliens who came to Earth in various guises, stayed for a while, perhaps created the human race as part of a biogenetic experiment, leaving behind megalithic monuments and other signs of their presence on the planet and their interaction with a race called humans. Evidence to their existence is found through the planet, and in most cases remains an mystery.
Ancient 'Bone Box' Called Oldest Christian Artifact Live Science - April 20, 2012
Long-unrecognized lettering confirms that first-century artifacts found within an ancient Jerusalem tomb are the earliest representations of Christianity ever found, researchers say. Two Hebrew scholars who examined photographs showing the inside of the tomb agree that markings on an ossuary a box made to hold human remains are stylized letters that spell out the name of Jonah, the researchers said Thursday (April 19). Jonah was the Old Testament prophet whose story of being swallowed by a great fish was embraced by the early followers of Jesus.
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