image: titleInformation on Christianity
by Mandy Barrow

The Six Main Religions
Christianity

Christianity

Christianity is the world's biggest religion, with about 2.2 billion followers worldwide. It is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ who lived in the Holy Land 2,000 years ago.

Through its missionary activity Christianity has spread to most parts of the globe.


Place of Origin Israel
Founder Jesus of Nazareth
Sacred Text The Bible - Old and New Testaments
Sacred Building Church, Chapel, Cathedral
Holy Places Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Lourdes (a popular place of pilgrimage), Rome, Canterbury
Major Festivals Easter, Christmas,
Main Branches
(Denominations)
Anglican, Roman Catholic, Free Churches, Orthodox, Reformed,

Who is the founder of Christianity?
Jesus Christ, who was crucified around A.D. 30 in Jerusalem, is the founder of Christianity.

Who is Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He came to earth to teach about love and fellowship. He represents the person that all Christians must strive to be.

Jesus was a Jew who was born about 2000 years ago in Bethlehem. Jesus lived for 33 years before being crucified by the Romans.


What other names is Jesus known by?

  • Son of God
  • Light of the World
  • Lamb of God
  • The Good Shepherd.

Who are Christians?

Christians are people who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and who follow his teachings and those of the Christian churches that grew up after his death.

Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples (followers) to show everyone that there is another life with one, eternal, loving God.


Why are Christians called Christians?

Christians get their name from Jesus Christ who is God's son.


What do Christians believe?

Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and that:

  • God sent his Son to earth to save humanity from the consequences of its sins
  • Jesus was fully human, and experienced this world in the same way as other human beings of his time
  • Jesus was tortured and gave his life on the Cross (At the Crucifixion)
  • Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his Crucifixion (the Resurrection)

Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament

Christians believe that there is only one God, but that this one God consists of 3 "persons"

    • God the Father
    • God the Son
    • The Holy Spirit

Christians believe that God made the world.


Where do Christians worship?

The Christian place of worship is called a Church. They are often built in the shape of a cross with the altar facing east towards the rising sun.
Photographs of inside a church

The Christian spiritual leaders are called priests or ministers. (vicars).

What is Christian worship like?

Christian worship involves praising God in music, speech, readings from scripture, prayers of various sorts, a sermon and various holy ceremonies.


What is the Christian holy book called?

The Bible is the Christian holy book. It is divided into the Old and New Testaments. Parts of the writing contained in the Old Testament are also sacred to Jewish and Muslim people.


What are the two main Christian festivals?
The two main Christian festivals are Easter and Christmas. They are major milestones in the Western secular calendar.

What are the most important Christian Festivals?
The most important Christian festivals are: Lent, Easter and Christmas.

For the other festivals visit our page about the Church Year.


What are the Christian symbols?

The cross is the main symbol. It reminds Christians that Jesus died on the cross to save them.

The dove is the symbol of the holy spirit and peace.

The fish symbol was created using the Greek letters which spell out ICHTHUS : Jesus Christ God's Son Saviour.

The Romans persecuted the Christians and it became dangerous for them to meet. So the Christians devised a secret code. They drew half a fish in the sand. If a person completed the fish, they knew he or she was a believer too. Under the fish sign the Christians wrote the Greek word fish.

These letters stood for: Jesus Christ God's Son Saviour


What are the 10 Commandments?

From the Holy Bible, King James version. Exodus 20:3-18 (abridged)

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain
4. Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy
5. Honour thy father and thy mother
6. Thou shalt not kill
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
8. Thou shalt not steal
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour
10. Thou shalt not covet any thing that is thy neighbour's

How is Christianity similar to other religions?

Christianity shares a number of beliefs and practices with other religions, particularly Judaism and Islam. With Judaism and Islam, Christians believe in one God, who created the universe and all that is in it. All believe that this God is active in history, guiding and teaching his people.

Christianity and Judaism share the same roots. The Old Testament and the Torah (Jewish Holy Book) have the same content. The Jews are awaiting the coming of a Messiah or Saviour, while Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the Saviour and are now waiting for his second coming.


Which religion did Christianity develop from?

Christianity originally developed as a part of Judaism. Jesus was a Jew.


How is Christianity different from Judaism?

Christianity came to regard Jesus as in some sense God's presence in human form. This was unacceptable to most Jews.

Judaism is defined by a covenant made between God and the Jewish people. Part of this covenant is the Law, a set of religious and ethical rules and principles. Most Christians came to regard both this covenant and Law as in some sense superseded by Jesus' teaching and the community that he established. On the night he died, Jesus talked about establishing a "new covenant" based on his death and resurrection.

Jews believe that there is one God like Christians do, but they do not believe that this one God consists of 3 "persons".


Why are there different branches of Christianity?

There are different branches of Christianity because some Christians worship in different ways.

What are the different branches (denominations) of Christians?

There are several denominations of the Christian faith, however all Christians share common beliefs.

Church of England - Anglicanism
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England.

Roman Catholic
The Catholic Church is the oldest institution in the western world. It can trace its history back almost 2000 years.

Baptists
For Baptists, the church is not just a particular place or building, but rather a family of believers, committed to Christ, to one another and to the service of God in the world.

Methodist
The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God's love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission.

Orthodox
The Orthodox Church shares much with the other Christian churches in the belief that God revealed himself in Jesus Christ, and a belief in the incarnation of Christ, his crucifixion and resurrection.

Seventh-day Adventist
The belief which makes Seventh-day Adventists really stand out, though it is not the most important part of the faith, is the belief that Saturday is the Sabbath (the day of worship)


Christianity for Children

Christianity
For children

Christian Artifacts (Christian Symbols)
Photographs of various Christian artifacts with useful background notes.

Teddy's Day Out - An Interactive Game for Kids
Help Teddy to find the Christian symbols.

Infant Baptism - Christening
Watch a video-clip of a christening.

Easter and Lent - Information about the festivals around Easter

Christmas in England
Find out the meanings behind the symbols of Christmas

Advent
Information on Advent

Holidays and Festivals throughout the Year

The Job of a Vicar

Virtual Baptist Church Tour


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