What Is Christianity

What is Christianity                                                           9th May 2011
  * Christianity is a major world religion.
  * A “Western” religion (w/Judaism and Islam).
  * The largest world religion today with 2 billion followers.
  * It is based on belief that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ and the “son of God”.
  * Like many other major world religions, has several core aspects including history and development, core beliefs and practices and structures and regulations.

  * Historical background : Abraham, Israelites, Hebrews, Jews, Old Testament.
  * Historical foundation : Jesus of Nazareth (crucified AD 30) and his first disciples.
  * Historical development : Tradition preserved/adopted for 2000 years (interplay of old and new, ancient and modern.

Branches and Subdivisions
  * Major Christian Branches : (Eastern) Orthodox, (Roman) Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, Restorationist, etc.
  * Orthodox : by nation and language, Greek, Russian. Anglicans : nations especially former British colonies. Protestants : leaders/theologies, Lutheran, Reformed.
  * Groups within Catholicism : religious orders and societies (monastic, mendicant, apostolic) lay groups.

  * 2 billion Christians worldwide in 2000 (33% of world population)
  * Subdivisions : 1 billion Catholics, 500 million Protestants/Anglican, 250 million Orthodox, 250 million other.
  * 48% Africa, 85% North Africa, 93% South America, 9% Asia, 76% Europe, 85% Oceania.

What is Christianity                                                           9th May 2011
Foundational Texts
  * The bible : Official collection of books in two parts known as the Old and New Testaments.
  * The Creeds : Short professions of faith defined by first two Ecumenical Councils (Nicea and Constantinople).
  * Other writings : Writings of church leaders throughout history, especially founders of orders and denominations.