CHRISTIANITY

Beliefs & Sources of Belief

Beliefs & Sources of Belief

ChristianityWith more than 2 billion adherents worldwide, Christianity has more followers than any other religion. There are many Christian denominations but they can be roughly divided into two: the Protestant churches and the Roman Catholic Church. The Orthodox Church, largely present in Eastern Europe and Russia, split from the Roman Catholic Church in 1054. Protestant churches split from the Roman Catholic Church later.

Jesus Christ founded Christianity 2000 years ago. Christians believe he was the Son of God whose coming was foretold in the Old Testament. God sent Jesus to take the burden of the sins of humanity. Although Jesus died a painful death by crucifixion, he was then brought back to life by God before ascending to heaven.

Although Christianity is a monotheistic religion, it also embraces the Trinity. This concept holds that God is divisible into three elements, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

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Christian beliefs and sources of beliefs

ChristianityChristian beliefs come from the Bible. This includes the Old Testament and the New Testament. The New Testament is especially important to Christians particularly the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John which tell the story of Jesus’ life. The Gospels were all written after Jesus’ death.

Christians believe that Jesus came to Earth as the Son of God and was born to Mary in a virgin birth after she was visited by the Angel Gabriel. This visit is known as the Annunciation.

Jesus spent his adult life preaching the word of God along with the 12 disciples, simple fishermen he recruited to become ‘fishers of men’.

His teachings upset the Pharisees, the religious authorities in the area of Nazareth where he preached. They regarded his teachings, and the miracles he performed, as heresy and plotted to kill him.

Eventually, when he was still only around 30 years old, Jesus was betrayed by one of his own disciples, Judas Iscariot. Nazareth was then under the political control of the Romans and the Governor Pontius Pilate ordered his execution by crucifixion.

Jesus died on the cross but was resurrected three days later and appeared to the disciples. Then God took him to heaven, an event called the Ascension. God allowed his Son to be tormented and killed to take the burden of sin from humanity.

Christian teaching says that a belief in Jesus and God, leading a moral life and repenting from sin allows salvation, life after death and entry to Heaven.