Christianity has more followers than any other religion in the world. About one in three people worldwide consider themselves Christian (American Catholic, 2006, p. 96.) In the United States alone, there are 159 million members of the different branches of Christianity. Most Christians live in Europe, North America and South America (Religion Facts, n.d.).
Christianity is centered around – and defined by – faith in Jesus Christ as a savior born to a virgin mother and sent here by God to enlighten the world. While followers of many other religions believe in the existence of Jesus Christ, only Christians believe he was the only messiah and prophet sent from God. Their core belief is that he is the son of God and that he was resurrected from the dead after his crucifixion. Christians believe Christ was part of the Holy Trinity β€œthe father, the son and the Holy Ghost,” which are said to be three parts of one divine spiritual being(Religion Facts, n.d., p. 34).
The religion began in Palestine and its main holy scripture is the Bible, although some segments of the Christian religion have additional sacred texts such as the Apocrypha.
Fundamental Christians, who take a literal view of the Bible, believe that Christ performed miracles such as walking on water and turning water into wine (American Catholic, 2006, p. 35), but progressive Christians believe the Bible was written in metaphors, that its translation from Aramaic into other languages is imprecise and that its passages are meant to be interpreted.
There are more than 1,500 different Christian faith groups (American Catholic, 2006, p. 46). The largest of these denominations are Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant. While Christians of all groups generally share the same core beliefs, each denomination has its own unique practices, beliefs and traditions that are distinct from one another.
Because the different segments of Christianity have such diverse belief systems, this paper will focus...