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Portal:Christianity

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Introduction

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religious group based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, also known by Christians as the Christ. It is the world's largest religion group, with over 2.4 billion followers, or 33% of the global population, making up a majority of the population in about two-thirds of the countries in the world. Its adherents believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Logos, and the savior of humanity, whose coming as the Messiah (Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament, as described in the Bible. Christianity and its ethics has played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization.

Christianity grew out of Judaism and began as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the mid-1st century in the Roman province of Judea. Jesus' apostles, and their successors the Apostolic Fathers, spread it around Syria, Europe, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Transcaucasia, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Asia, despite initial persecution. After decriminalisation by the Edict of Milan (313), Emperor Constantine the Great, himself a convert, convened the First Council of Nicaea (325) where Early Christianity was consolidated into what would become the state religion of the Roman Empire (380). The First Council of Nicaea formulated the Nicene Creed (325), and the Church Fathers supervised the development of the Christian biblical canons (5th century). This period during the initial stages of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, when the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Oriental Orthodoxy thrived in communion. This lasted until Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon (451) over differences in Christology, and the Eastern Orthodox Church and Catholic Church (representing the Great Church in the east and west, respectively) separating in the East–West Schism (1054) especially over the authority of the Pope. Similarly, Protestantism, while not a single but numerous denominations, later split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation (16th century) over theological and ecclesiological deviation.

While influencing Western civilisation, particularly in Europe during the Middle Ages, persecution has been an issue ever since the Roman Empire. This intensified from the Early Islamic conquests (622–750) on around what then became the Islamic world, and this persecution remains the main issue to this day. Nontheless, following the Age of Discovery (15th century), Christianity spread to the Americas, Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world through missionary work and colonization. Conversely, in the Western world since the Late Modern era, various variants of state-sponsored secularist and marxist movements have been significant opponents.

Selected article

Nate Saint's Plane
Operation Auca was an attempt by five Evangelical Christian missionaries from the United States to make contact with the Huaorani people of the rainforest of Ecuador. The Huaorani, also known as the Aucas (the Quechua word for "savage"), were an isolated tribe known for their violence, both against their own people and outsiders who entered their territory. With the intention of being the first Protestants to evangelize the Huaorani, the missionaries began making regular flights over Huaorani settlements in September 1955, dropping gifts. After several months of exchanging gifts, on January 2, 1956, the missionaries established a camp at "Palm Beach", a sandbar along the Curaray River, a few miles from Huaorani settlements. Their efforts culminated on January 8, 1956, when all five—Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming and Roger Youderian—were attacked and speared by a group of Huaorani warriors. The news of their deaths was broadcast around the world, galvanising the missionary effort in the United States and sparking an outpouring of funding for evangelization efforts around the world. Their work is still frequently remembered in evangelical publications, and in 2006, was the subject of the film production End of the Spear. Several years after the deaths of the men, the widow of Jim Elliot, Elisabeth, and the sister of Nate Saint, Rachel, returned to Ecuador as missionaries to live among the Huaorani, eventually leading to the conversion of many, including some of the killers of the men.

Selected scripture

Sixth century mosaic of the Raising of Lazaru in the church of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy
Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus from Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister, Martha. It was that Mary who had anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother, Lazarus, was sick. The sisters therefore sent to him, saying, “Lord, behold, he for whom you have great affection is sick.” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God’s Son may be glorified by it.” Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When therefore he heard that he was sick, he stayed two days in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let’s go into Judea again.”
The disciples told him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and are you going there again?”
Jesus answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight? If a man walks in the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
But if a man walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light isn’t in him.” He said these things, and after that, he said to them, “Our friend, Lazarus, has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may awake him out of sleep.”
The disciples therefore said, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he spoke of taking rest in sleep. So Jesus said to them plainly then, “Lazarus is dead. I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe. Nevertheless, let’s go to him.”
Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go also, that we may die with him.”
So when Jesus came, he found that he had been in the tomb four days already. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia away. Many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. Then when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house. Therefore Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now I know that, whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, God’s Son, he who comes into the world.”
When she had said this, she went away, and called Mary, her sister, secretly, saying, “The Teacher is here, and is calling you.”
When she heard this, she arose quickly, and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was in the place where Martha met him.
Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and were consoling her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.” Therefore when Mary came to where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.”
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?”
They told him, “Lord, come and see.”
Jesus wept.
The Jews therefore said, “See how much affection he had for him!”
Some of them said, “Couldn’t this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have also kept this man from dying?”
Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see God’s glory?”
So they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, “Father, I thank you that you listened to me. I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude that stands around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
He who was dead came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth.
Jesus said to them, “Free him, and let him go.”

Selected biography

Augustine of Canterbury (c. first third of the 6th century – 26 May 604) was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 598. He is considered the "Apostle to the English" and a founder of the English Church.

Augustine was the prior of a monastery in Rome when Pope Gregory the Great chose him in 595 to lead a mission, usually known as the Gregorian mission, to Britain to convert the pagan King Æthelberht of the Kingdom of Kent to Christianity. Kent was probably chosen because it was near the Christian kingdoms in Gaul and because Æthelberht had married a Christian princess, Bertha, daughter of Charibert I the King of Paris who was expected to exert some influence over her husband. Before reaching Kent the missionaries had considered turning back but Gregory urged them on and, in 597, Augustine landed on the Isle of Thanet and proceeded to Æthelberht's main town of Canterbury.

King Æthelberht converted to Christianity and allowed the missionaries to preach freely, giving them land to found a monastery outside the city walls. Augustine was consecrated bishop of the English and converted many of the king's subjects, including thousands during a mass baptism on Christmas Day in 597. Pope Gregory sent more missionaries in 601, along with encouraging letters and gifts for the churches, although attempts to persuade the native Celtic bishops to submit to Augustine's authority failed. Roman Catholic bishops were established at London and Rochester in 604, and a school was founded to train Anglo-Saxon priests and missionaries. Augustine also arranged the consecration of his successor, Laurence of Canterbury. Augustine died in 604 and was soon revered as a saint.

Selected image

Christ the King
Credit: User:Boston

Christ the King is a title of Jesus based on several passages of Scripture. It is used by most Christians.

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