Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. Christians believe Jesus is simultaneously the son of God, God having become man, and the savior of humanity. Christians, therefore, commonly refer to Jesus as Christ or Messiah.
History and OriginsEdit
Christianity has been practiced in some form or anther for roughly 2000 years. Immediately following the time of Christ the new church of Christ consisted primarily of disparate groups of followers, due to human migratory patterns and various forms of persecution the church found itself centered in modern day Greece by about 50 AD. In the market place of ideas Christianity took the form of an increasing number of sects and the religion grew apart and grew in size filling more theological niches until the early 4th century AD. After 300 years of diversification the divergent Christian doctrines began to damage one another through competition, in response to this the First Council of Nicaea was called in 325 AD in modern day Turkey, representatives of all Christendom were in attendance and a unified doctrine detailing the relationship between Jesus on God as well as the divinity of Jesus was forged, during this time the bishop of Rome became the defacto leader of Christendom because of his political power. Power was further consolidated under the bishop of Rome following a declaration from Constantine I that officially changed the religion of Rome to Christianity. This was followed in 393 AD by the Synod of Hippo in which a universal cannon was agreed on. The decline of Rome followed these events and the division of Rome into eastern (Byzantine empire) and western (Roman empire) political powers lead to a division in the church. Durring the 5th century AD the Coptic Christians of North Africa broke off from the Roman Catholic Church and then in the 11th century the Great Schism occurred breaking the church headed by Rome from the Church headed by Constantinople apart. The Constantinople based church further divided into the 14 or so easter orthodox churches we have remaining today. In europe the catholic church was able to remain unified (although differing traditions such as the Franciscans and Gregorians did arise and remain to this day) and maintained a monopoly on religious endeavors until the protestant reformation began in 1517 with Martin Luthers publication of the 95 theses.