History of Christianity

History of Christianity

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The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religionChristian countries, and the Christians with their various denominations, from the 1st century to the present. Christianity originated with the ministry of Jesus, a Jewish teacher and healer who proclaimed the imminent Kingdom of God and was crucified c. AD 30–33 in Jerusalem in the Roman province of Judea.[1] His followers believe that, according to the Gospels, he was the Son of God and that he died for the forgiveness of sins and was raised from the dead and exalted by God, and will return soon at the inception of God's kingdom.[1]

The earliest followers of Jesus were apocalyptic Jewish Christians.[1] The inclusion of Gentiles in the developing early Christian Church caused the separation of early Christianity from Judaism during the first two centuries of the Christian era.[2] In 313, the Roman Emperor Constantine I issued the Edict of Milan legalizing Christian worship.[3] In 380, with the Edict of Thessalonica put forth under Theodosius I, the Roman Empire officially adopted Trinitarian Christianity as its state religion, and Christianity established itself as a predominantly Roman religion in the state church of the Roman Empire.[4] Various Christological debates about the human and divine nature of Jesus consumed the Christian Church for three centuries, and seven ecumenical councils were called to resolve these debates.[5] Arianism was condemned at the First Council of Nicea (325), which supported the Trinitarian doctrine as expounded in the Nicene Creed.[5]

In the Early Middle Ages, missionary activities spread Christianity towards the west and the north among Germanic peoples;[6] towards the east among ArmeniansGeorgians, and Slavic peoples;[7] in the Middle East among Syrians and Egyptians;[8] in Eastern Africa among the Ethiopians;[9] and further into Central AsiaChina, and India.[10] During the High Middle Ages, Eastern and Western Christianity grew apart, leading to the East–West Schism of 1054. Growing criticism of the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical structure and its corruption led to the Protestant Reformation and its related reform movements in the 15th and 16th centuries, which concluded with the European wars of religion that set off the split of Western Christianity. Since the Renaissance era, with the European colonization of the Americas and other continents actively instigated by the Christian churches,[11][12][13][14] Christianity has expanded throughout the world.[15] Today, there are more than two billion Christians worldwide[16] and Christianity has become the world's largest religion.[17] Within the last century, as the influence of Christianity has progressively waned in the Western world, Christianity continues to be the predominant religion in Europe (including Russia) and the Americas, and has rapidly grown in Asia as well as in the Global South and Third World countries, most notably in Latin AmericaChinaSouth Korea, and much of Sub-Saharan Africa.

History of Christianity - Wikipedia

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