The CHRISTIANITY PORTAL
Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religious group based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, also known by Christians as the Christ. It is the world's largest religion, with over 2.4 billion followers, or 33% of the global population, making up a majority of the population in about two-thirds of the countries in the world. Its believers affirm that Jesus is the Son of God, the Logos, and the savior of humanity, whose coming as the Messiah (Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament of the Bible, and chronicled in the New Testament. Christianity and its ethics have played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization. Early statements of essential beliefs were the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed.
Christianity grew out of Judaism and began as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the mid-1st century in the Roman province of Judea. Jesus' apostles, and their successors the Apostolic Fathers, spread it around Syria, Europe, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Transcaucasia, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Asia, despite initial persecution. Emperor Constantine the Great converted to Christianity and decriminalized it in the Edict of Milan (313), later convening the First Council of Nicaea (325) where Early Christianity was consolidated into what would become the state religion of the Roman Empire (380). The council formulated the Nicene Creed (325), and the Church Fathers supervised the compilation of the Christian Bible (5th century). The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united communion of the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and Oriental Orthodoxy before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon (451) over differences in Christology, while the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism (1054), especially over the authority of the Pope. Similarly, Protestantism split in numerous denominations from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation (16th century) over theological and ecclesiological disputes.
Christianity was a leading influence on the development of Western civilisation in Europe during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Following the Age of Discovery (15th–17th century), Christianity spread to the Americas, Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world through missionary work and colonization.
is the tradition of heraldry
developed by Christian clergy
. Initially used to mark documents, ecclesiastical heraldry evolved as a system for identifying people and dioceses. It is most formalized within the Roman Catholic Church
, where most bishops, including the Pope
, have a personal coat of arms
. Similar customs are followed by clergy in the Anglican Church
, the Lutheran Church
, the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches
, and the Orthodox Churches
. Institutions such as schools and dioceses
bear arms called impersonal or corporate arms. Ecclesiastical heraldry differs notably from other heraldry in the use of special symbols around the shield to indicate rank in a church or denomination. The most prominent of these symbols is the ecclesiastical hat, commonly the Roman galero
or Geneva bonnet. The color and ornamentation of this hat carry a precise meaning. Cardinals
are famous for the "red hat", but other offices are assigned a distinctive hat color. The hat is ornamented with tassels in a quantity commensurate with the office. Other symbols include the cross, the mitre
and the crozier
Did you know...
...that there are approximately 2.5 billion Christians worldwide?
...that there are usually 66 books in the Protestant Bible, and 73 in the Catholic Bible, and 75 in the Eastern Orthodox Bible?
...that there are over 33,500 Protestant denominations in 238 countries worldwide?
...that during the Avignon Papacy from 1305 to 1378, several medieval popes lived/resided in Avignon and not in Rome?