Wikijunior:World Religions/Christianity

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How many people follow Christianity?[edit]

Countries shown in purple have 50% or more Christians; countries shown in pink have 10% to 50% Christians.

About two billion people follow some form of Christianity.

Where is Christianity practiced?[edit]

Christianity is practiced all over the world. It is the majority religion in much of the world, but a minority religion in large parts of Africa and Asia.

What are the main beliefs of Christianity?[edit]

Christianity is a monotheistic religion: it teaches that there is one God. It teaches that, about two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born in human form to a virgin mother, was killed by crucifixion, rose from the dead, and ascended back into Heaven. His death is regarded as atoning for the sins of humanity, allowing humans to be saved.

Christianity says that those who are saved will enter the kingdom of Heaven with God. Different forms of Christianity teach different things about who will be saved. A very common teaching is that those who lead a good life will enter Heaven when they die. Some other teachings are that everyone will be saved, that those who confess their sins before death will be saved, or that who will be saved has already been determined before we are born.

An ornate Christian cross. The picture in the center is Christ, and the pictures at the four points of the cross are the authors of the Gospels in the New Testament.

Crucifixion is a form of execution that was practiced by the ancient Roman empire; the person to be killed is attached (often nailed) to a cross and left to die. A cross is a common symbol of Christianity. The Cross may be shown as a simple shape, or may be shown with a likeness of Jesus Christ attached to it. A Christian cross with a likeness of Jesus attached is called a crucifix.

A small crucifix.

Most Christian sects consider Jesus himself to be God, holding that he is the second person of the Trinity, which is the doctrine that God is three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost). These three are nonetheless considered to be one God.

The God of Christianity is considered to be the God of Abraham, just as with Judaism and Islam.

What texts does Christianity hold sacred?[edit]

The holy books of Christianity are gathered in one large text called the Bible.

The Bible has two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament comes from the Jewish tradition, and tells the story of God's love for the Jewish people. The New Testament is originally Christian, and tells the story of Jesus Christ, and the spread of Christianity through Paul. Four books of the New Testament, called Gospels, each tell the story of Jesus Christ. The authors of the four Gospels are traditionally Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

What are some main holidays and practices of Christianity?[edit]

One of the major holidays of Christianity is Christmas, which celebrates the birth of Christ. It is on December 25, and is usually celebrated with presents and family gatherings.

Another major Christian holiday is Easter, a Sunday in March or April which commemorates the resurrection of Christ. "Easter Eggs" are often hunted for or decorated as part of the celebration.

What is the history of Christianity?[edit]

This religion was founded when Jesus Christ began to preach of heaven at the age of 30. Three years later, Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, which was when this religion truly began.

Who are some famous people who have practiced Christianity?[edit]

Anthony the Great. 251–356.

Augustine of Hippo. 354–430.

Francis of Assisi. 1181–1226.

Thomas Aquinas. 1225–1274.

Martin Luther. 1483–1546.

Mother Teresa. 1910–1997.

Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929–1968.

Desmond Tutu. Born 1931.

What is a story from Christianity?[edit]

One of the stories of this religion is the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.

A woman named Mary was engaged to a man named Joseph, but they were not yet married. One day, the angel Gabriel came to earth to tell Mary that she was pregnant with the Son of God. When Joseph found out she was pregnant, he decided to not marry her, but he too was visited by an angel who changed his mind. Just before Jesus was born, they had to travel to Bethlehem for a census. Because so many people had also travelled to Bethlehem, the inns were full, and there was no place for Joseph and Mary to stay. They ended up staying in a stable, and that is where Jesus was born.