"Christianity started out in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise." Sam Pascoe, American scholar.
"Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship with Jesus Christ." Anonymous posting to a Christian mailing list.
About 2,000 years ago
Middle-Eastern country of Israel
Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
The Bible, Old and New Testament.
"Thou Shalt Not Kill " . ".Turn the other cheek " "Father, Son and the Holy Ghost " . Amen
Approximately 1.5 billion == 25% of the world's population.
3 . Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant (with 20,000 sub-sects).
Over 50% of christians are blacks. Developing countries have a declining rate of spread of christianity, but increasing in under-developed countries.
GIST OF CHRISTIANITY:
Most Christians stick to the Apostles' Creed : Believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into Hell. The third day He rose again from the dead and ascended unto Heaven and sit on the right hand of God, the father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost . the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.
Most Christian faith revolves around the basic principles of this creed, but with important exception to its various beliefs. Christianity has an unswerving conviction that it is the only true religion, the only path to salvation. This engenders a missionary zeal, an urgency to evangelize around the world. Stress is placed on acceptance of Jesus as God and Savior, on good conduct, compassion, service to mankind, faith and preparation for the Final Judgement. Only good Christians will be saved and accepted into heaven.
1. Belief in God the Father, Creator of the universe, reigning forever distinct over man, His beloved/favorite creation
2. Belief that man is born a sinner, and that he may know salvation only through the Savior, Jesus Christ, God's only begotten son.
3. Jesus Christ was born of Mary, a virgin.
4. Jesus was crucified on the cross, then ressurrected from the dead and now sits at the right hand of the Father as the final judge of the dead, and that He will return again as prophesized.
5. The human soul is embodied for a single lifetime, but is immortal and accountable to God for all thoughts and actions.
6. Belief in the historical truth of the Holy Bible, that it is sacred scripture of the highest authority and the only word of God.
7. Upon death and according to its earthly deeds and its acceptance of the Christian faith, the soul enters Heaven, Purgatory or Hell. There it awaits the last judgement when the dead shall rise again, the redeemed to enjoy life everlasting and the unsaved to suffer eternally.
8. Intrinsic goodness of mankind and the affirmative nature of life, and in the priceless value of love, charity and faith.
9. Holy Trinity of God who reveals himself as father, son and holy ghost. and in the existence of satan, the personification of evil, deception and darkness.
Christians follow the teachings of and about Yeshua of Nazareth, commonly referred to as Jesus Christ. (Jesus is the Greek form of Yeshua; Christ is Greek for the Messiah or the "anointed one.") He was a Jewish itinerant preacher who was born circa 4 to 7 BCE. He was executed by the Roman occupying authorities in Palestine, perhaps on Friday, 30-APR-7 CE. Most Christians regard him as the son of God. They further believe that he is God, the second person in the Trinity. (The Trinity consists of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; three separate persons, all eternal, all omnipresent, who form a single, unified deity). Most Christians believe that Jesus co-existed with God before the creation of the world, was born of a virgin, and was resurrected three days after his death. Many conservative Protestant Christians believe that people are born and remain sinful; they will end up being eternally punished in hell unless they are "saved." Roman Catholics believe that salvation is obtained through repentance and church sacraments. Religious liberals generally interpret hell symbolically, not as an actual place of punishment.
About 33% of the world's population regard themselves as Christian. This percentage has been stable for decades. (The second most popular religion is Islam, which is expected to become the dominant religion of the world during the 21st century.) 87% of North Americans identify themselves as Christian. This has been dropping very slowly in recent years, mainly due to the sudden increase in non-theists, such as Agnostics, Atheists, Humanists, etc. Other factors are the increase in minority religions, largely caused by immigration and the emergence of new spiritual/religious movements like New Age, Wicca and other Neopagan religions.