|c. 2.4 billion worldwide (2015)|
|Regions with significant populations|
| Christianity |
Christians ( /,- / (
While there are diverse interpretations of Christianity which sometimes conflict,they are united in believing that Jesus has a unique significance.
The term "Christian" used as an adjective is descriptive of anything associated with Christianity or Christian churches, or in a proverbial sense "all that is noble, and good, and Christ-like."It does not have a meaning of 'of Christ' or 'related or pertaining to Christ'.
According to a 2011 Pew Research Center survey, there were 2.2 billion Christians around the world in 2010, up from about 600 million in 1910.Today, about 37% of all Christians live in the Americas, about 26% live in Europe, 24% live in sub-Saharan Africa, about 13% live in Asia and the Pacific, and 1% live in the Middle East and North Africa. Christians make up the majority of the population in 158 countries and territories. 280 million Christians live as a minority.
About half of all Christians worldwide are Catholic, while more than a third are Protestant (37%).Orthodox communions comprise 12% of the world's Christians. Other Christian groups make up the remainder. By 2050, the Christian population is expected to exceed 3 billion. According to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey, Christianity will remain the world's largest religion in 2050, if current trends continue. Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, especially in the Middle-East, North Africa, East Asia, and South Asia.
The Greek word Χριστιανός (Christianos), meaning "follower of Christ", comes from Χριστός (Christos), meaning "anointed one", with an adjectival ending borrowed from Latin to denote adhering to, or even belonging to, as in slave ownership. In the Greek Septuagint, christos was used to translate the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (Mašíaḥ, messiah), meaning "[one who is] anointed." In other European languages, equivalent words to Christian are likewise derived from the Greek, such as Chrétien in French and Cristiano in Spanish.
The abbreviations Xian and Xtian (and similarly-formed other parts of speech) have been used since at least the 17th century: Oxford English Dictionary shows a 1634 use of Xtianity and Xian is seen in a 1634-38 diary.The word Xmas uses a similar contraction.
The first recorded use of the term (or its cognates in other languages) is in the New Testament, in Acts 11 after Barnabas brought Saul (Paul) to Antioch where they taught the disciples for about a year, the text says: "[...] the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." (Acts 11:26). The second mention of the term follows in Acts 26, where Herod Agrippa II replied to Paul the Apostle, "Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." (Acts 26:28). The third and final New Testament reference to the term is in 1 Peter 4, which exhorts believers: "Yet if [any man suffer] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." (1 Peter 4:16).
Kenneth Samuel Wuest holds that all three original New Testament verses' usages reflect a derisive element in the term Christian to refer to followers of Christ who did not acknowledge the emperor of Rome.The city of Antioch, where someone gave them the name Christians, had a reputation for coming up with such nicknames. However Peter's apparent endorsement of the term led to its being preferred over "Nazarenes" and the term Christianoi from 1 Peter becomes the standard term in the Early Church Fathers from Ignatius and Polycarp onwards.
The earliest occurrences of the term in non-Christian literature include Josephus, referring to "the tribe of Christians, so named from him;"Pliny the Younger in correspondence with Trajan; and Tacitus, writing near the end of the 1st century. In the Annals he relates that "by vulgar appellation [they were] commonly called Christians" and identifies Christians as Nero's scapegoats for the Great Fire of Rome.
Another term for Christians which appears in the New Testament is "Nazarenes". Jesus is named as a Nazarene in Matthew 2:23, while Paul is said to be Nazarene in Acts 24:5. The latter verse makes it clear that Nazarene also referred to the name of a sect or heresy, as well as the town called Nazareth.[ citation needed ]
The term Nazarene was also used by the Jewish lawyer Tertullus (Against Marcion 4:8) which records that "the Jews call us Nazarenes." While around 331 AD Eusebius records that Christ was called a Nazoraean from the name Nazareth, and that in earlier centuries "Christians" were once called "Nazarenes".The Hebrew equivalent of "Nazarenes", Notzrim, occurs in the Babylonian Talmud, and is still the modern Israeli Hebrew term for Christian.
A wide range of beliefs and practices are found across the world among those who call themselves Christian. Denominations and sects disagree on a common definition of "Christianity". For example, Timothy Beal notes the disparity of beliefs among those who identify as Christians in the United States as follows:
Although all of them have their historical roots in Christian theology and tradition, and although most would identify themselves as Christian, many would not identify others within the larger category as Christian. Most Baptists and fundamentalists (Christian Fundamentalism), for example, would not acknowledge Mormonism or Christian Science as Christian. In fact, the nearly 77 percent of Americans who self-identify as Christian are a diverse pluribus of Christianities that are far from any collective unity.
Linda Woodhead attempts to provide a common belief thread for Christians by noting that "Whatever else they might disagree about, Christians are at least united in believing that Jesus has a unique significance."Michael Martin evaluated three historical Christian creeds (the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed) to establish a set of basic Christian assumptions which include belief in theism, the historicity of Jesus, the Incarnation, salvation through faith in Jesus, and Jesus as an ethical role model.
The identification of Jesus as the Messiah is not accepted by Judaism. The term for a Christian in Hebrew is נוֹצְרִי (Notzri—"Nazarene"), a Talmudic term originally derived from the fact that Jesus came from the Galilean village of Nazareth, today in northern Israel.Adherents of Messianic Judaism are referred to in modern Hebrew as יְהוּדִים מְשִׁיחִיִּים (Yehudim Meshihi'im—"Messianic Jews").
In Arabic-speaking cultures, two words are commonly used for Christians: Naṣrānī (نصراني), plural Naṣārā (نصارى) is generally understood to be derived from Nazarenes, believers of Jesus of Nazareth through Syriac (Aramaic); Masīḥī (مسيحي) means followers of the Messiah. Where there is a distinction, Nasrani refers to people from a Christian culture and Masihi is used by Christians themselves for those with a religious faith in Jesus. In some countries Nasrani tends to be used generically for non-Muslim Western foreigners.
Another Arabic word sometimes used for Christians, particularly in a political context, is Ṣalībī (صليبي "Crusader") from ṣalīb (صليب "cross"), which refers to Crusaders and may have negative connotations. However, Ṣalībī is a modern term; historically, Muslim writers described European Christian Crusaders as al-Faranj or Alfranj (الفرنج) and Firinjīyah (الفرنجيّة) in Arabic. This word comes from the name of the Franks and can be seen in the Arab history text Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh by Ali ibn al-Athir.
The most common Persian word is Masīhī (مسیحی), from Arabic. Other words are Nasrānī (نصرانی), from Syriac for "Nazarene", and Tarsā (ترسا), from Middle Persian word Tarsāg, also meaning "Christian", derived from tars, meaning "fear, respect".
An old Kurdish word for Christian frequently in usage was felle (فەڵە), coming from the root word meaning "to be saved" or "attain salvation".
The Syriac term Nasrani (Nazarene) has also been attached to the Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala, India. In the Indian subcontinent, Christians call themselves Isaai (Hindi : ईसाई, Urdu : عیسائی), and are also known by this term to adherents of other religions. This is related to the name they call Jesus, 'Isa Masih, and literally means 'the followers of 'Isa'.
In the past, the Malays used to call the Portuguese Serani from the Arabic Nasrani, but the term now refers to the modern Kristang creoles of Malaysia. In Indonesian language, the term "Nasrani" is also used alongside "Kristen".
The Chinese word is 基督 徒 (pinyin: jīdū tú), literally "Christ follower." The two characters now pronounced Jīdū in Mandarin Chinese were originally used phonetically to represent the name of Christ. In Vietnam, the same two characters read Cơ đốc , and a "follower of Christianity" is a tín đồ Cơ đốc giáo.
In Japan, the term kirishitan (written in Edo period documents 吉利支丹, 切支丹, and in modern Japanese histories as キリシタン), from Portuguese cristão, referred to Roman Catholics in the 16th and 17th centuries before the religion was banned by the Tokugawa shogunate. Today, Christians are referred to in Standard Japanese as キリスト教徒, Kirisuto-kyōto or the English-derived term クリスチャン kurisuchan.
Korean still uses 기독교도, Kidok-kyo-do for "Christian", though the Greek form Kurisudo 그리스도 has now replaced the old Sino-Korean Kidok, which refers to Christ himself.
In Thailand, the most common terms are คนคริสต์ (khon khrit) or ชาวคริสต์ (chao khrit) which literally means "Christ person/people" or "Jesus person/people." The Thai word คริสต์ (khrit) is derived from "Christ."
The region of modern Eastern Europe and Central Eurasia (Russia, Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet bloc) has a long history of Christianity and Christian communities on its lands. In ancient times, in the first centuries after the birth of Christ, when this region was called Scythia, the geographical area of Scythians - Christians already lived there. :Великое княжество Русское, c. 988 AD).Later the region saw the first states to adopt Christianity officially - initially Armenia (301 AD) and Georgia (337 AD), later Bulgaria (c. 864) and the Great Russian Principality (Kyivan Rus, Russian
In some areas, people came to denote themselves as Christians (Russian : христиане, крестьяне) and as Russians (Russian : русские). In time the Russian term "крестьяне" (khrest'yanye) acquired the meaning "peasants of Christian faith" and later "peasants" (the main part of the population of the region), while the term "христиане" (khristianye) retained its religious meaning and the term "русские" (russkiye) began to mean representatives of the heterogeneous Russian nation formed on the basis of common Christian faith and language,[ citation needed ] which strongly influenced the history and development of the region. In the region the term "Pravoslav faith" (Russian : православная вера - Orthodox faith) or "Russian faith" (Russian : русская вера) from earliest times became almost as known as the original "Christian faith" (христианская, крестьянская вера).[ citation needed ] Also in some contexts the term "cossack" (Russian : козак, казак) was used[ by whom? ] to denote "free" Christians of steppe origin and Russian language.
Nominally "Christian" societies made "Christian" a default label for citizenship or for "people like us".In this context, religious or ethnic minorities can use "Christians" or "you Christians" loosely as a shorthand term for mainstream members of society who do not belong to their group - even in a thoroughly secular (though formerly Christian) society.
As of the early 21st century, Christianity has approximately 2.4 billion adherents.The faith represents about a third of the world's population and is the largest religion in the world. Christians have composed about 33 percent of the world's population for around 100 years. The largest Christian denomination is the Roman Catholic Church, with 1.3 billion adherents, representing half of all Christians.
Christianity remains the dominant religion in the Western World, where 70% are Christians.According to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey, if current trends continue, Christianity will remain the world's largest religion by the year 2050. By 2050, the Christian population is expected to exceed 3 billion. While Muslims have an average of 3.1 children per woman—the highest rate of all religious groups, Christians are second, with 2.7 children per woman. High birth rates and conversion were cited as the reason for Christian population growth. A 2015 study found that approximately 10.2 million Muslims converted to Christianity. Christianity is growing in Africa, Asia, the Muslim world, and Oceania.
|Middle East–North Africa||12,710,000||3.7|
According to a study from 2015, Christians hold the largest amount of wealth (55% of the total world wealth), followed by Muslims (5.8%), Hindus (3.3%) and Jews (1.1%). According to the same study it was found that adherents under the classification Irreligion or other religions hold about 34.8% of the total global wealth.A study done by the nonpartisan wealth research firm New World Wealth found that 56.2% of the 13.1 million millionaires in the world were Christians.
A Pew Center study about religion and education around the world in 2016, found that Christians ranked as the second most educated religious group around in the world after Jews with an average of 9.3 years of schooling,and the highest numbers of years of schooling among Christians were found in Germany (13.6), New Zealand (13.5) and Estonia (13.1). Christians were also found to have the second highest number of graduate and post-graduate degrees per capita while in absolute numbers ranked in the first place (220 million). Between the various Christian communities, Singapore outranks other nations in terms of Christians who obtain a university degree in institutions of higher education (67%), followed by the Christians of Israel (63%), and the Christians of Georgia (57%).
According to the study, Christians in North America, Europe, Middle East, North Africa and Asia Pacific regions are highly educated since many of the world's universities were built by the historic Christian denominations,in addition to the historical evidence that "Christian monks built libraries and, in the days before printing presses, preserved important earlier writings produced in Latin, Greek and Arabic". According to the same study, Christians have a significant amount of gender equality in educational attainment, and the study suggests that one of the reasons is the encouragement of the Protestant Reformers in promoting the education of women, which led to the eradication of illiteracy among females in Protestant communities.
Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, especially in the Middle-East, North Africa and South and East Asia.
In 2017, Open Doors estimated approximately 260 million Christians are subjected annually to "high, very high, or extreme persecution"with North Korea considered the most hazardous nation for Christians.
In 2019, a report [ clarification needed ] among others, and that it is global and not limited to Islamic states. This investigation found that approximately 80% of persecuted believers worldwide are Christians.commissioned by the United Kingdom's Secretary of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to investigate global persecution of Christians found persecution has increased, and is highest in the Middle East, North Africa, India, China, North Korea, and Latin America,
Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the Christ, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, called the Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion, with about 2.4 billion followers as of 2020.
The word Catholic comes from the Greek phrase καθόλου (katholou), meaning "on the whole", "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words κατά meaning "about" and ὅλος meaning "whole". The first use of "Catholic" was by the church father Saint Ignatius of Antioch in his Letter to the Smyrnaeans. In the context of Christian ecclesiology, it has a rich history and several usages.
Paganism is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism. This was either because they were increasingly rural and provincial relative to the Christian population, or because they were not milites Christi. Alternate terms in Christian texts for the same group were hellene, gentile, and heathen. Ritual sacrifice was an integral part of ancient Graeco-Roman religion and was regarded as an indication of whether a person was pagan or Christian.
Christian Church is a Protestant ecclesiological term referring to the church invisible comprising all Christians, used since the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. In this understanding, "Christian Church" does not refer to a particular Christian denomination but to the "body" or "group" of believers, both defined in various ways. A prominent example of this is the branch theory maintained by some Anglicans. This is in contrast to the one true church applied to a specific concrete Christian institution, a majority Christian ecclesiological position maintained by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East.
Christianity and other religions documents Christianity's relationship with other world religions, and the differences and similarities.
The Nazarenes were an early Christian sect in first-century Judaism. The first use of the term is found in the Acts of the Apostles of the New Testament, where Paul the Apostle is accused of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes before the Roman procurator Antonius Felix at Caesarea Maritima by Tertullus. At that time, the term simply designated followers of Jesus of Nazareth, as the Hebrew term נוֹצְרִי, and the Arabic term نصاري still do.
Jewish Christians were the followers of a Jewish religious sect that emerged in Judea during the late Second Temple period (first-century). Modern scholarship is engaged in an ongoing debate as to the proper designation for Jesus' first followers. Many see the term Jewish Christians as anachronistic given that there is no consensus on the date of the birth of Christianity. Some modern scholars have suggested the designations "Jewish believers in Jesus" or "Jewish followers of Jesus" as better reflecting the original context. The sect integrated the belief of Jesus as the prophesied Messiah and his teachings into the Jewish faith, including the observance of the Jewish law. Jewish Christianity is the foundation of Early Christianity, which later developed into Christianity. Christianity started with Jewish eschatological expectations, and it developed into the worship of a deified Jesus after his earthly ministry, his crucifixion, and the post-crucifixion experiences of his followers.
Judaizers are Christians who teach it is necessary to adopt Jewish customs and practices, especially those found in the Law of Moses, to be saved. The term is derived from the Koine Greek word Ἰουδαΐζειν (Ioudaizein), used once in the Greek New Testament, when Paul publicly challenges Peter for compelling Gentile converts to Early Christianity to "judaize". This episode is known as the incident at Antioch.
Asia is the largest and most populous continent and the birthplace of many religions including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism. All major religious traditions are practiced in the region and new forms are constantly emerging. Asia is noted for its diversity of culture. Islam and Hinduism are the largest religions in Asia with approx. 1.2 billion adherents each.
As of 2011, most Armenians are Christians (97%) and are members of Armenia's own church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, which is one of the oldest Christian churches. It was founded in the 1st century AD, and in 301 AD became the first branch of Christianity to become a state religion.
Christians in Syria make up about 10% of the population. The country's largest Christian denomination is the Eastern Orthodox Church of Antioch, closely followed by the Melkite Catholic Church, one of the Eastern Catholic Churches, which has a common root with the Eastern Orthodox Church of Antioch, and then by an Oriental Orthodoxy churches like Syriac Orthodox Church and Armenian Apostolic Church. There are also a minority of Protestants and members of the Assyrian Church of the East and Chaldean Catholic Church. The city of Aleppo is believed to have the largest number of Christians in Syria. In the late Ottoman rule, a large percentage of Syrian Christians emigrated from Syria, especially after the bloody chain of events that targeted Christians in particular in 1840, the 1860 massacre, and the Assyrian genocide. According to historian Philip Hitti, approximately 900,000 Syrians arrived in the United States between 1899 and 1919. The Syrians referred include historical Syria or the Levant encompassing Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. Syrian Christians tend to be relatively wealthy and highly educated.
In terms of demographics, adherents to Christianity make up around two percent of the population in Israel as of the end of 2019. By far, most of these followers (78%) are Arab-Christians, who are mostly adherents of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. Some 42% of all Israeli Christians are affiliated with the Melkite Greek Church, and 30%-32% with the Orthodox Church; smaller numbers are split between Latin Rite Catholics with 13% of Christians, about 25,000 Russian Orthodox Christians, about 15,000 Arameans who adhere to the Maronite and Syriac Churches, 3,000 to 10,000 adherents of Armenian Churches, 1,000 Assyrians affiliated with the Assyrian Churches, a community of around 1,000 Copts, being registered as "Arab Christians", though their Arab identity is disputed, and small branches of Protestants.
This is a glossary of terms used in Christianity.
Christianity in the 1st century covers the formative history of Christianity from the start of the ministry of Jesus to the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles and is thus also known as the Apostolic Age.
Nazarene is a title used to describe people from the city of Nazareth in the New Testament, and is a title applied to Jesus, who, according to the New Testament, grew up in Nazareth, a town in Galilee, now in northern Israel. The word is used to translate two related terms that appear in the Greek New Testament: Nazarēnos (Nazarene) and Nazōraios (Nazorean). The phrases traditionally rendered as "Jesus of Nazareth" can also be translated as "Jesus the Nazarene" or "Jesus the Nazorean", and the title "Nazarene" may have a religious significance instead of denoting a place of origin. Both Nazarene and Nazorean are irregular in Greek and the additional vowel in Nazorean complicates any derivation from Nazareth.
Christian population growth is the population growth of the global Christian community. According to a 2011 Pew Research Center survey, there were 2.3 billion Christians around the world in 2010, more than three times as many as the 600 million recorded in 1910. However, this rate of growth is slower than the overall population growth over the same time period. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center study, by 2050, the Christian population is expected to be 2.9 billion.
Jesuism, also called Jesusism or Jesuanism, is the teachings of Jesus in distinction to the teachings of mainstream Christianity. In particular, the term is often contrasted with Pauline Christianity and mainstream church dogma.
Persecution of Eastern Orthodox Christians is the persecution faced by church, clergy and adherents of the Eastern Orthodox Church because of religious beliefs and practices. Orthodox Christians have been persecuted in various periods when under the rule of non-Orthodox Christian political structures. In modern times, anti-religious political movements and regimes in some countries have held an anti-Orthodox stance.
1 Peter 4 is the fourth chapter of the First Epistle of Peter in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author identifies himself as "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ" and the epistle is traditionally attributed to Peter the Apostle, but there are charges that it is a work of Peter's followers in Rome between 70-100 CE.
Throughout his diary, Rogers abbreviates 'Christ' to 'X' and the same is true of 'Christian' ('Xian'), 'Antichrist' ('AntiX') and related words.
In modern times the name Christian [...] has tended, in nominally Christian countries, to lose any credal significance and imply only that which is ethically praiseworthy (e.g. 'a Christian action') or socially customary ('Christian name').