Christianity is a religion founded by the followers of Jesus Christ around the first century in Palestine. Christians believe in Jesus Christ as the "chosen one" (God) who created this Universe and controls everything. Jesus is also considered to be all- powerful, all-knowing being who lived on this Earth two thousands years ago. Christianity has been a powerful cultural force and historical influence. Historical, archaeological and literary evidences have greatly focused the life and teachings of Jesus.
Jesus : Messiah of Christians
Yeshua Ben Joseph (Birth name) was born to Virgin Mary and Joseph between 4 and 7 BC at Bethlehem in Judaea. Commonly referred as Jesus Christ (Christ in Greek means 'the anointed one or the Messiah") he is regarded as both the God and Son of God, by most Christians. Christians widely believed that he is second in the Trinity of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Christians have traditionally worshiped the Messiah in him. Recently, Archaeologists have claimed to discover the biblical Siloam pool in Jerusalem where the Bible says Jesus restored the eyesight of a blind man.
Rise of Early Christianity
Christianity started as a sect of Judaism with no fixed set of beliefs. After the crucifixion of Christ, his disciples took up the Jesus movement in a small, sectarian way. Many missionaries later succeeded in spreading it throughout the Roman Empire despite heavy persecution The Jesus Movement (Christianity) was however not unified and very diverse, as churches moved into different cultural and language context.
Explosive spread of churches resulted in widespread popularity of this Jesus movement but it cannot be expected that everywhere, everybody was singing the same hymns and reading the scriptures. Christianity enriched itself by moving into realms and thoughts of other religions.
With the conversion of Constantine into Christianity, it achieved phenomenal success after being recognized as the official religion, in fact, the only tolerated religion of the Roman Empire, by the end of the 4th century. The Emperor began ruling in the name of "Lord Christ". Imperial ideology and symbolism, the trappings of imperial grandeur, were brought and infused in Christian tradition.
Christianity : Teachings and Practices
Christianity is a set of beliefs, a way of life and also a community of people. Christians believe that Jesus lived on earth. His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension into heaven are a proof of God's love for humanity and also about God's forgiveness of human sins and by faith one may attain salvation and eternal life. Such teachings of Jesus are embodied in the Bible, both in the Old Testament and New Testament. Christian ethics to a large extent are obtained from the Jewish tradition; particularly the "Ten Commandments" prescribed in the Old Testament.
Christianity shares common belief and practices with other religions like Judaism and Islam. Judaism, Islam and Christians believe in one God, who created the universe and all that is in it. All believe in the active role of God in guiding and teaching people. These three religions, including Christianity, have been called "ethical monotheism" which emphasizes the belief in one God, and the fact that following this God commits us to a number of specific ethical rules or principles.
Christian calendar is essentially revolved around the life of Jesus; important events include the Annunciation (Mar. 25); Christmas (Dec. 25), the Circumcision (Jan. 1); the Epiphany (Jan. 6); Candlemas (Feb. 2); and the Transfiguration (Aug. 6). Weekly memorials of Jesus' resurrection are held on Sunday, the day of Christian Sabbath.
All Christian Festivals