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Belief in the significance of Jesus is a defining characteristic of Christianity.
Paul the Apostle was instrumental in the founding of Christianity and wrote influential parts of the New Testament.

Christianity is the largest religion in the world. Its members are split between Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Christians, although there are literally thousands of denominations within each division, each with their own ideas about how Christianity should manifest itself.

Christianity originated in the first century CE and takes its name from Jesus Christ. Its scripture is the Old Testament and New Testament which together form the Bible. The gospels, which are the accounts of Jesus being incarnated and killed, are largely interpreted based on the writings of Paul the Apostle and the other epistles. Christianity originated as a reformed Judaism, which itself grew out of the earlier religions of the Canaanites, Egyptians and Zoroastrians [1]. Christianity was also influenced by ideas from Neoplatonism. It is considered an Abrahamic religion along with Judaism and Islam.

"The central Christian belief is that Christ's death has somehow put us right with God and given us a fresh start. Theories as to how it did this are another matter. [...] We are told that Christ was killed for us, that His death has washed out our sins, and the by dying He disabled death itself. That is the formula. That is Christianity. That is what has to be believed."

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
"There ought to be a term that would designate those who actually follow the teachings of Jesus, since the word 'Christian' has been largely divorced from those teachings, and so polluted by fundamentalists that it has come to connote their polar opposite: intolerance, vindictive hatred, and bigotry. [2]"



Following many schisms, Christianity split into a bewildering array of denominations. The main branches are as follows:

Simplified groupings within Christianity.

Major denominational groups and heresies within Christianity.png


  1. Jason M Silverman, Iranian influence on Judaism, October 2011
  2. Philip Stater The Great Fundamentalist Hoax, HuffPost, 05/25/2011

See also

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