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is an Christianity Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. It is the world's largest and most widespread religion with roughly 2.4 billion followers representing one-third of the global population. Its adherents, known as Christians, are estimated to make up a majority of the population in 157 countries and territories. Most Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible) and chronicled in the New Testament, published together as the Christian biblical canon.
culturally diverse in its Western and Eastern branches, as well as in its doctrines concerning justification and the nature of salvation, ecclesiology, ordination, and Christology. The creeds of various Christian denominations generally hold in common Jesus as the Son of God—the Logos incarnated—who ministered, suffered, and died on a cross, but rose from the dead for the salvation of mankind; and referred to as the gospel, meaning the "good news". Describing Jesus' life and teachings are the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, with the Old Testament as the gospel's respected background.
The six major
branches of Christianity are Roman Catholicism (1.3 billion people), Protestantism (800 million), Eastern Orthodoxy (220 million), Oriental Orthodoxy (60 million), Restorationism (35 million), and the Church of the East (600 thousand). Smaller church communities number in the thousands despite efforts toward unity ( ecumenism). In the West, Christianity remains the dominant religion even with a decline in adherence, with about 70% of that population identifying as Christian. Christianity is growing in Africa and Asia, the world's most populous continents. Christians remain greatly persecuted in many regions of the world, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa, East Asia, and South Asia. ( )
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is the conventional name given by scholars to an Gospel of the Ebionites apocryphal gospel extant only as seven brief quotations in a heresiology known as the , by Panarion Epiphanius of Salamis; he misidentified it as the "Hebrew" gospel, believing it to be a truncated and modified version of the Gospel of Matthew. The quotations were embedded in a polemic to point out inconsistencies in the beliefs and practices of a Jewish Christian sect known as the Ebionites relative to Nicene orthodoxy.
The surviving fragments derive from a
, composed in
with various expansions and abridgments reflecting the theology of the writer. Distinctive features include the absence of the
and of the
genealogy of Jesus
, in which Jesus is chosen to be
at the time of his
; the abolition of the
by Jesus; and an advocacy of
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The following are images from various Christianity-related articles on Wikipedia.
A Greek Image 1 fresco of Athanasius of Alexandria, the chief architect of the Nicene Creed, formulated at Nicaea. (from )
Representation of the Trinity in the form of the Image 2 mercy seat (epitaph from 1549) (from )
A compact diagram of the Trinity, known as the " Image 5 Shield of Trinity". The Shield is not generally intended to be a schematic diagram of the structure of God, but it presents a series of statements about the correlation between the persons of the Trinity. (from )
The Image 18 Adoration of the Trinity by Albrecht Dürer (1511): from top to bottom: Holy Spirit (dove), God the Father and the crucified Christ (from )
God the Father (top), and the Holy Spirit (represented by a dove) depicted above Jesus. Painting by Image 20 Francesco Albani (d. 1660) (from )
Father, The Holy Spirit, and Christ Crucified, depicted in a Image 26 Welsh manuscript. c. 1390–1400 (from )
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, OFM ( Angelus Silesius c. 1624 – 9 July 1677), born Johann Scheffler, was a German Catholic priest, physician, mystic and religious poet. Born and raised a Lutheran, he began to read the works of medieval mystics while studying in the Netherlands and became acquainted with the works of the German mystic Jacob Böhme through Böhme's friend, Abraham von Franckenberg. Silesius's display of his mystic beliefs caused tension with Lutheran authorities and led to his eventual conversion to Catholicism in 1653, wherein he adopted the name Angelus ( Latin for " angel" or " heavenly messenger") and the epithet Silesius (" Silesian"). He took holy orders under the Franciscans and was ordained a priest in 1661. Ten years later, in 1671, he retired to a Jesuit house where he remained for the rest of his life.
An enthusiastic convert and priest, Silesius worked to convince German Protestants in
to return to the Roman Catholic Church. He composed 55 tracts and pamphlets condemning
, several of which were published in two
). However, he is now remembered chiefly for his mystic poetry, and in particular for two poetical works both published in 1657:
(literally, "The Soul's Holy Desires"), a collection of more than 200 religious
texts that have been used by Catholics and Protestants; and
("The Cherubinic Pilgrim"), a collection of 1,676 short poems, mostly
. His poetry explores contemporary themes of the greatness of God, mystic interpretations of the Trinity,
within an orthodox Catholic context. (
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is a person who is killed for following Christian martyr Christianity, through stoning, crucifixion, burning at the stake or other forms of torture and capital punishment. The word " martyr" comes from the Greek word μάρτυς, mártys, which means "witness." At first, the term applied to Apostles. Once Christians started to undergo persecution, the term came to be applied to those who suffered hardships for their faith. Finally, it was restricted to those who had been killed for their faith. The early Christian period before Constantine I was the "Age of martyrs". A martyr's death was considered a " baptism in blood," cleansing one of sin, similar to the effect of baptism in water. Early Christians venerated martyrs as powerful intercessors, and their utterances were treasured as inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Then said Jesus,
Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiments, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, This Is The King Of The Jews. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost, not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
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