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Portal:Christianity

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Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. It is the world's largest religion, with about 2.8 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, and 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.

Christianity remains culturally diverse in its Western and Eastern branches, as well as in its doctrines 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 mankind; and referred to as the gospel, meaning the "good news". Describing Jesus' life and teachings are the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, with the Old Testament as the gospel's respected background.

The four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church (1.3 billion/50.1%), Protestantism (920 million/36.7%), the Eastern Orthodox Church (230 million), and the Oriental Orthodox churches (62 million) (Orthodox churches combined at 11.9%), though thousands of smaller church communities exist despite efforts toward unity (ecumenism). Despite a decline in adherence in the West, Christianity remains the dominant religion in the region, with about 70% of that population identifying as Christian. Christianity is growing in Africa and Asia, the world's most populous continents. Christians remain persecuted in some regions of the world, especially in the Middle East, North Africa, East Asia, and South Asia. (Full article...)

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The church's west façade, facing
the market place

St Denys' Church is a medieval Anglican parish church in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England. While a church and a priest have probably been present in the settlement since approximately 1086, the oldest parts of the present building are the tower and spire, which date to the late 12th and early 13th centuries; the stone broach spire is one of the earliest examples of its kind in England. The Decorated Gothic nave, aisles and north transept were built in the 14th century. The church was altered in the 19th century: the north aisle was rebuilt by the local builders Kirk and Parry in 1853 and the tower and spire were largely rebuilt in 1884 after being struck by lightning. St Denys' remains an active parish church.

The church is a Grade I listed building, a national designation given to "buildings of exceptional interest". It is a prime example of Decorated Gothic church architecture in England, with the architectural historians Sir Nikolaus Pevsner and John Harris noting that "it is a prolonged delight to follow the mason's inventiveness". The church's tracery has attracted special praise, with Simon Jenkins arguing that its Decorated windows are "works of infinite complexity". Built out of Ancaster stone with a lead roof, St Denys' is furnished with a medieval rood screen and a communion rail, possibly by Sir Christopher Wren, and has a peal of eight bells, dating to 1796. The church also houses several memorials, including two altar tombs commemorating members of the Carre family, Sleaford's lords of the manor in the 17th century. (Full article...)
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Katy Hudson is the debut studio album by American singer Katy Hudson (later known as Katy Perry). It was released on March 6, 2001, by Red Hill Records. The album, unlike the subsequent albums that made her known worldwide, primarily incorporates Christian rock and contemporary Christian music elements with lyrical themes of childhood, adolescence, and Hudson's faith in God. Before its release, Red Hill went bankrupt, preventing it from marketing and promoting the album, which subsequently sold about 200 copies and received mixed reviews. (Full article...)
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Nero's Torches
Credit: User:Robert Weemeyer

A Christian martyr is a person who is killed for following Christianity, through stoning, crucifixion, burning at the stake or other forms of torture and capital punishment. The word "martyr" comes from the Greek word μάρτυς, mártys, which means "witness." At first, the term applied to Apostles. Once Christians started to undergo persecution, the term came to be applied to those who suffered hardships for their faith. Finally, it was restricted to those who had been killed for their faith. The early Christian period before Constantine I was the "Age of martyrs". A martyr's death was considered a "baptism in blood," cleansing one of sin, similar to the effect of baptism in water. Early Christians venerated martyrs as powerful intercessors, and their utterances were treasured as inspired by the Holy Spirit.

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St John the Evangelist at Patmos
And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
Book of Revelation, Revelation 5:1-7, King James Version

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