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Christianity is an Abrahamic religion, a direct offshoot of Judaism centered around a figure known as Yeshua (commonly anglicized to Jesus), a preacher and self-proclaimed son of Yahweh (the Jewish God) who lived sometime during the early years of the first century CE, who's life and death were recorded by the twelve Apostles. The most common form of Christianity holds that Jesus was executed on a cross, but since he was sinless, rose from the grave after three days. This act removed the penalty of sin, allowing those who accepted salvation an eternity in heaven after death, rather than an eternity in hell as punishment for sin. Christianity is the largest religious group in the world.

Notable denominations within Christianity

  • Catholicism-The largest and oldest of Christian denominations. As the Western branch of the Apostolic Church, it is noted for its strict hierarchy and tremendous influence on Western European art and history.
  • Orthodoxy-The Eastern branch of the Apostolic Church, Orthodoxy emerged from the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire and established itself mainly in Eastern Europe. Othrodoxy is most prominant in Russia.
  • Protestantism-Protestantism emerged around 1500 AD in a movement started by German theologian Martin Luther, breaking off from Catholicism and becoming dominant in Northern Europe. Protestantism is not so much one homogeneous belief as a family of related denominations. Many "Low Church" Protestant groups have a minimum of ritual and generally have far less internal hierarchy, while some "High Church" Protestants (e.g. some Anglican and Lutheran groups) are very similar to Catholic services.
  • Mormonism-A comparatively recent Christian sect emerging in the 19th century, worshiping Joseph Smith and adding new Holy books to the Canon of scripture: the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants. Considered heresy and not actually Christianity by some Christians.

Christian Fundamentalism

While there are many Christians that can integrate their beliefs in modern society and get along with other faiths, there are groups of fundamentalist Christians who more forcibly try to spread their faith and principles on those who do not necessarily subscribe to these views. This is especially visible in controversial subjects such as gay rights and the evolution debate. The occasional nut-job will get violent over these subjects, but no Christian organization, fundamentalist or otherwise, actively coordinates or endorses such actions. In such cases of violence most Christian organizations are quick to condemn the acts.

See Also

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