The CHRISTIANITY PORTAL
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Introduction

Christianity is an Abrahamic Universal religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. It is the worlds largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers or 31.5% of the worlds populations.

Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism. It soon also attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, and the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, and also to Ethiopia, Transcaucasia, and some parts of Asia.

Constantine the Great converted to Christianity and decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan (313). The First Council of Nicaea (325) established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire. By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms.

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Stained glass depiction of Joseph Smith's first vision.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes referred to as the LDS Church or the Mormon Church, describes itself as the restoration of the original church established by Jesus Christ. It claims to be a Christian church, but separate from the Catholic or Protestant traditions.

The church teaches that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, Jr. and called him to be a prophet and to restore the original church as established by Jesus Christ through a restoration of elements that had been missing from Christianity since the early days of Christianity due to apostasy. This restoration included the return of priesthood authority, new sacred texts, and the calling of twelve apostles. The Church was organized under the leadership of Joseph Smith in Fayette, New York, on April 6, 1830, following his translation of the Book of Mormon from which adherents—also called Latter-day Saints—get their nickname Mormons.

Joseph Smith led the church until his violent death in 1844. After a period of confusion where the church was led by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and various claims of succession were made, Brigham Young led a group of Mormon pioneers away from the former church headquarters in Nauvoo, Illinois, and eventually to the Salt Lake Valley of Utah in July 1847. Brigham Young was sustained as President of the church at General Conference in December 1847.

Now an international organization, the church has its world headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah where Thomas Monson serves as its sixteenth President. The church sends tens of thousands of missionaries throughout the world, and in 2005 reported a worldwide membership of over 12.5 million.

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Doubting Thomas
But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: [then] came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace [be] unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.

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Clement of Dunblane was a 13th-century Dominican friar who was the first member of the Dominican Order in the British Isles to become a bishop. In 1233, he was selected to lead the ailing diocese of Dunblane, and faced a struggle to bring the bishopric of Dunblane to financial viability. While not achieving all of his aims, Clement succeeded in saving the bishopric from relocation to Inchaffray Abbey. He also regained enough revenue to begin work on the new Dunblane Cathedral. He faced a similar challenge with the impoverished bishopric of Argyll in the 1240s. Clement was with the king during his campaign in Argyll in 1249 and was at his side when he died during this campaign. By 1250 he had established a reputation as one of the most active Dominican reformers in Britain. Clement helped to elevate Edmund of Abingdon and Queen Margaret to sainthood. After his death, he received veneration as a saint himself, although he was never formally canonised.

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The Life of Jesus Christ
Credit: User:Jayarathina

The Life of Christ as a narrative cycle in Christian art comprises a number of different subjects, which were often grouped in series or cycles of works in a variety of media, narrating the life of Jesus on earth, as distinguished from the many other subjects in art showing the eternal life of Christ, such as Christ in Majesty, and also many types of portrait or devotional subjects without a narrative element.

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