Christianity is the religion of the followers of Jesus Christ, who was born as a Jew in Bethlehem in the 4th Century B.C. to Virgin Mary. It was believed that Jesus possessed extraordinary supernatural powers. Alarmed by his growing popularity some Jewish priests conspired against him and succeeded in getting him crucified. Jesus was resurrected on the third day after being crucified. He lived on the earth for another forty days and then ascended to Heaven. The incidents preceding and succeeding his birth matched prophesies of the Old Testament, which mentions about the birth of the son of God on the earth to liberate humanity of its sins. Christianity has the largest number of followers in the world exceeding more than 1.5 billion.
Fundamental Beliefs of Christianity:
Christians are monotheists and insist that the originator and preserver of creation is one but is represented in the Holy Trinity—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Christians regard God as the father of the divine, whose human representation is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ endured suffering and crucifixion to save mankind from sin. Christians also believe that Jesus Christ will return again as prophesised.
Holy Scriptures :
The holy book of the Christians is the ‘Bible’, which contains a collection of writings dating from 9th century B.C. to 1st century A.D. written in various languages like Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and English. The Bible is divided into the Old Testament with 46 books and the New Testament with 27 books. The ‘Old Testament’ is written in the Hebrew text, sacred to both the Jews and the Christians and contains information about the creation of the world. Christianity is centred round the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, which is recorded in the ‘New Testament’.
Sects in Christianity:
Christianity became the formal religion of the Roman Empire after Constantine, the Emperor of Rome, converted to Christianity in 313 A.D. The religion was referred as ‘Catholic’ with the Roman Pope as its head. By the end of the 11th century, a large part of the world had become Christian. In 1054 A.D. many differences arose among the Christians leading to the formal splitting of the Church into the ‘Eastern Orthodox’ and the western ‘Roman Catholic’ schools. Since the 15th century, the supremacy of the Pope began to be questioned by the new church councils. Martin Luther advocated many reforms in the Church in the 16th century, leading to yet another split in the Christian community and the formation of the ‘Protestant’ churches across Northeast Europe. The Protestants consider the Bible as the sole authority for the Christians and undermine the role of the Pope. However, with the passage of time even the Protestant movement faced many divisions leading to the emergence of several branches of Protestant Christians.
Christianity in India:
The exact date of the arrival of Christianity to India cannot be established with certainty. It is commonly believed that Christianity was introduced in India with the arrival of St. Thomas, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ, at the Malabar Coast in Kerala in 52 A.D. Others contend that the first missionary to arrive in the country was Saint Bartholomew.
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