Christianity is the world's largest religion. It is the dominant religion in Europe, North, Central and South America, and has made significant inroads in all other parts of the world. Christianity is based upon the teachings of Jesus Christ, whom Christians believe to have been the "son of God made flesh," brought to the world to teach men the way of salvation. Jesus lived from approximately 6 BC to 30 AD.
Jesus' life and teachings are recorded in the New Testament. Born of the Virgin Mary, a Jew, the Christ lived and taught in and around present-day Palestine and Israel. According to the New Testament, he performed many miracles during his lifetime, and he taught men how to cleanse themselves from sin and thus achieve eternal happiness after death. Jesus was betrayed and crucified, but he rose from death after three days and ascended into heaven.
After Christ's death, Christianity spread throughout the eastern Mediterranean. The Romans tried unsuccessfully to suppress it, but eventually they adopted Christianity as the state religion. With the might of Rome behind it, Christianity spread rapidly through the known world. When the Roman Empire fell, Christianity broke into two branches. Since then it has continued to fragment, with a number of the branches quite hostile to others. Today, the major Christian branches include Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodox Christianity, and Mormonism.
- The image seen upon founding Christianity is bread and wine, which are a traditional part of the Eucharist (Holy Communion).
|Civilization IV Religions |
|Buddhism • Christianity • Confucianism • Hinduism • Islam • Judaism • Taoism|