Christianity, the largest religion in the world, also, the religion with the biggest number of denominations, around 34,000. Christianity is probably the religion that made the most impact on the whole world, for better or for worse. You can find it on pretty much every populated continent in the world. Whole Europe, North and South America are predominantly Christian countries if we don`t count non-religious people. This is the religion that gives hope to many people around the world. But it has also been the cause of some horrible things in the past, and some that are happening even today. There are around 2 billion Christians all around the world with the 34,000 denominations, which is the biggest number of denominations in any religion in the world. Some denominations had changed a lot through the past, some have stayed pretty much the same from their foundation to the modern times. Many of the dominations are in the disagreement with one another, which text are valid, which are not, what we should take from the bible as a guideline for life, and which we should not. But what they all have in common is that they believe in one God, in Jesus and Holy spirit. They also have many saints that are declared as saints from the church itself. But how did this religion started? Why is it the most popular religion in the world? Well, let`s find out in this article. So, let`s start.
History of Christianity
Christianity is main religion in the west, where it has the biggest amount of influence. The religion itself is old around 2000 years. Some count the birth of Jesus Christ as a start of Christianity. Some count the time when Christianity has become an established as the religion, around 200 years after the birth of Jesus Christ. The time varies because of missing information that is now only part of the history. Early Christian believers were shunned by society, especially in Roman Empire. Many of them were killed because they believed in the wrong god. Polytheism was still the main religion in the Roman Empire. The church was established by 12 Apostles, but, by many historic accounts, they did not found it straight after Jesus died. Many of the Christians in the past had been killed by people of other belief systems, not only By Roman Empire. But, finally, Christianty has become a legal religion in the fourth century. This was done by Constantine I who formed First Council of Nicea, which wrote the Niece Creed. This creed is still used by the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. In year 380 Christianity has officially made the religion of the Roman Empire. And in years that followed, it was fully declared that Jesus Christ was both fully man and fully a God. The books that will be the part of the bible were determent and it was also decided that the Nicene Creed was a permanent doctrine of the church at the Council of Rome.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the church has expanded its missionary work to the rest of the known world, to the east, west, north and south. The faith has spread widely amongst the Germanic, Slavic, Celtic, Viking, Finn and Hungarian people. The religion had very fast growth amongst all European nations. But with the year of 630, Islam has become to increase its grasp around the world and soon has taken over some Christian countries, like Spain and the most of the North Africa. After the fall of the Romans, monasteries began to form all around the Europe which allowed the Christian priests to spread their religion as fast and as effective as they can. The main purpose of the monasteries was the learning center, but they also become the place to teach people about the Christianity. They gave the rise to the first universities, such as University of Paris, Bologna, and Oxford. It is pretty weird to think that once the church was an oasis of knowledge and learning. This has changed so much during the centuries.
Then Crusades happen, one of the biggest parts of the churches history. The plan of crusades was to free the holy land from rising Islamic influence in that part of the world. The all nine of crusade wars were a failure. Christians were not able to free their holy land. This has lead to extensive suppression of heresy in the following decades, which were mostly initiated by the Inquisition establishment. After 700 years of existence, the church has divided on the western and eastern church. Western was a Catholic church, and easter was Orthodox Church. There were many attempts of reuniting both churches, but the difference that developed with time has made it pretty much impossible to connect them both to the one church.
In the 16th Century, there was a new device in the Western Church. The reason was the reformation inside the Catholic Church which was lead by Martin Luter. This has ended in the Act if Supremacy being passed in England. Which made the King of England also a head of the Church of England. The Pope was excommunicated, and the Catholic Reformation was initiated. As years passed, divide between the Catholicism and Protestantism become bigger than just disagreement in religious belief, it had also instigated the political problems and wars against Protestant Countries and Protestant Countries. With the discovery of the new world, and the colonial expansion of the European countries, Christianity has started to expand in the places where people were still primitive in nature, and this allowed for Christianity to spread like a plaque around North and South Americas, also thought sub-Sahara Africa and East Asia. But many of this expansion was done by force and horrible measures.
Christianity is a religion that had its ups and downs in its almost 2000 years of existence. It is still changing, and who know how it will look like in 100 years from now.