A report on Christian Church

Medieval illustration of the ecclesia from the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad of Landsberg (12th century)
An Eastern icon depicting the Descent of the Holy Spirit. The date of Pentecost is considered the "Birthday of the Church".
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An icon depicting Constantine I, accompanied by the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325), holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Founded in AD 363, Mar Mattai Monastery, a Nestorian Church, is recognized as one of the oldest Christian monasteries in existence.
The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered. –Augsburg Confession
Methodist preachers are known for promulgating the doctrines of the new birth and entire sanctification to the public at events such as tent revivals, brush arbor revivals, and camp meetings, which they believe is the reason that God raised them up into existence.
The nave of St. Peter's Church Phibsborough, Dublin, Ireland
St. Andrew's Church, Darjeeling. Built- 1843, Rebuilt- 1873
Methodist preachers are known for promulgating the doctrines of the new birth and entire sanctification to the public at events such as tent revivals, brush arbor revivals, and camp meetings, which they believe is the reason that God raised them up into existence.

Ecclesiological term referring to what different Christian denominations conceive of as being the true body of Christians or the original institution established by Jesus.

- Christian Church
Medieval illustration of the ecclesia from the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad of Landsberg (12th century)

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An Eastern Christian icon depicting Emperor Constantine and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea (325) as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.

Christianity

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Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

An Eastern Christian icon depicting Emperor Constantine and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea (325) as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Various depictions of Jesus
Crucifixion, representing the death of Jesus on the Cross, painting by Diego Velázquez, c. 1632.
The Law and the Gospel by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1529); Moses and Elijah point the sinner to Jesus for salvation.
The Trinity is the belief that God is one God in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.
Midnight Mass at a Catholic parish church in Woodside, New York City, U.S.
Show on the life of Jesus at Igreja da Cidade in São José dos Campos, affiliated to the Brazilian Baptist Convention.
An early circular ichthys symbol, created by combining the Greek letters ΙΧΘΥΣ into a wheel, Ephesus, Asia Minor.
The Bible is the sacred book in Christianity.
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, the largest church in the world and a symbol of the Catholic Church.
The 7th-century Khor Virap monastery in the shadow of Mount Ararat; Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as the state religion, in AD 301.
The Monastery of St. Matthew, located atop Mount Alfaf in northern Iraq, is recognized as one of the oldest Christian monasteries in existence.
Kadisha Valley, Lebanon, home to some of the earliest Christian monasteries in the world.
Christendom by A.D. 600 after its spread to Africa and Europe from the Middle East.
An example of Byzantine pictorial art, the Deësis mosaic at the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont, where he preached the First Crusade. Illustration by Jean Colombe from a copy of the Passages d'outremer, c. 1490.
Martin Luther initiated the Reformation with his Ninety-five Theses in 1517.
Michelangelo's 1498–99 Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica; the Catholic Church was among the patronages of the Renaissance.
A depiction of Madonna and Child in a 19th-century Kakure Kirishitan Japanese woodcut.
A Christian procession in Brazil, the country with the largest Catholic population in the world.
Trinity Sunday in Russia; the Russian Orthodox Church has experienced a great revival since the fall of communism.
The global distribution of Christians: Countries colored a darker shade have a higher proportion of Christians.
Pope Francis, the current leader of the Catholic Church.
St. George's Cathedral in Istanbul: It has been the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople whose leader is regarded as the primus inter pares in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, the seat of the Ethiopian Orthodox.
A 6th-century Nestorian church, St. John the Arab, in the Assyrian village of Geramon in Hakkari, southeastern Turkey.
Saint Mary Church; an ancient Assyrian church located in the city of Urmia, Iran.
A 19th-century drawing of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery receiving the Aaronic priesthood from John the Baptist. Latter Day Saints believe that the Priesthood ceased to exist after the death of the apostles and therefore needed to be restored.
Unitarian Church of Transylvania in Cluj-Napoca.
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A copy of the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas, a famous Christian apologetic work.
Christians fleeing their homes in the Ottoman Empire, circa 1922. Many Christians were persecuted and/or killed during the Armenian genocide, Greek genocide, and Assyrian genocide.
Countries with 50% or more Christians are colored purple; countries with 10% to 50% Christians are colored pink
Nations with Christianity as their state religion are in blue
Distribution of Catholics
Distribution of Protestants
Distribution of Eastern Orthodox
Distribution of Oriental Orthodox
Distribution of other Christians
Links between interdenominational movements and other developments within Protestantism
Historical chart of the main Protestant branches
The Cenacle on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, claimed to be the location of the Last Supper and Pentecost.
A folio from Papyrus 46, an early-3rd-century collection of Pauline epistles

The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints

Door of the Schlosskirche (castle church) in Wittenberg to which Luther is said to have nailed his 95 Theses on 31st October 1517, sparking the Reformation

Christian denomination

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Distinct religious body within Christianity that comprises all church congregations of the same kind, identifiable by traits such as a name, particular history, organization, leadership, theological doctrine, worship style and sometimes a founder.

Distinct religious body within Christianity that comprises all church congregations of the same kind, identifiable by traits such as a name, particular history, organization, leadership, theological doctrine, worship style and sometimes a founder.

Door of the Schlosskirche (castle church) in Wittenberg to which Luther is said to have nailed his 95 Theses on 31st October 1517, sparking the Reformation
A 6th-century Nestorian church, St. John the Arab, in the Assyrian village of Geramon

A denomination within Christianity can be defined as a "recognized autonomous branch of the Christian Church"; major synonyms include "religious group, sect, Church," etc. "Church" as a synonym, refers to a "particular Christian organization with its own clergy, buildings, and distinctive doctrines"; "church" can also more broadly be defined as the entire body of Christians, the "Christian Church".

Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine, accompanied by the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (AD 325), holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381

Four Marks of the Church

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The Four Marks of the Church, also known as the Attributes of the Church, describes four distinctive adjectives of traditional Christian ecclesiology as expressed in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed completed at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381: "[We believe] in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church."

The Four Marks of the Church, also known as the Attributes of the Church, describes four distinctive adjectives of traditional Christian ecclesiology as expressed in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed completed at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381: "[We believe] in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church."

Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine, accompanied by the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (AD 325), holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381
"One Church", illustration of Article 7 of the Augsburg Confession

The ideas behind the Four Marks have been in the Christian Church since early Christianity.

Stained glass window in a Catholic church depicting St. Peter's Basilica in Rome sitting "Upon this rock," a reference to Matthew 16:18

One true church

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Ecclesiological position asserting that Jesus gave his authority in the Great Commission solely to a particular visible Christian institutional church— what is commonly called a denomination.

Ecclesiological position asserting that Jesus gave his authority in the Great Commission solely to a particular visible Christian institutional church— what is commonly called a denomination.

Stained glass window in a Catholic church depicting St. Peter's Basilica in Rome sitting "Upon this rock," a reference to Matthew 16:18
...one holy Church is to continue forever. The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered.
–Augsburg Confession
Graph from The Trail of Blood, a popular Baptist book that teaches the doctrine of Baptist successionism.
An Amish family in Lyndonville, New York.
Methodist preachers are known for promulgating the doctrines of the new birth and entire sanctification to the public at events such as tent revivals and camp meetings, which they believe is the reason that God raised them up into existence.
A stained glass depiction of Joseph Smith's First Vision. He said that Jesus and God the Father told him that all the churches of his day were corrupt and abominable.
Methodist preachers are known for promulgating the doctrines of the new birth and entire sanctification to the public at events such as tent revivals and camp meetings, which they believe is the reason that God raised them up into existence.

Many Mainline Protestants regard all baptized Christians as members of a spiritual— not institutional— "Christian Church" regardless of their differing beliefs; this belief is sometimes referred to by the theological term "invisible church".

Episcopal consecration of Deodatus; Claude Bassot (1580–1630).

Apostolic succession

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Episcopal consecration of Deodatus; Claude Bassot (1580–1630).
Saint Peter portrayed as a Pope in the Nuremberg Chronicle
Catholic ordination ceremony
Pope Leo XIII rejected Anglican arguments for apostolic succession in his bull Apostolicae curae.
Ordination of an Orthodox priest by laying on of hands. Orthodox Christians view apostolic succession as an important, God-ordained mechanism by which the structure and teaching of the Church are perpetuated.
Tablet dedicated to the consecration of Samuel Seabury as the first Anglican bishop in the Americas
Nathan Söderblom is ordained as archbishop of the Church of Sweden, 1914.
John Wesley came to believe that ancient church and New Testament evidence did not leave the power of ordination to the priesthood in the hands of bishops but that other priests could ordain.
Catholic ordination ceremony

Apostolic succession is the method whereby the ministry of the Christian Church is held to be derived from the apostles by a continuous succession, which has usually been associated with a claim that the succession is through a series of bishops.

After the miraculous catch of fish, Christ invokes his disciples to become "fishers of men" by Raphael

Christians

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Christians are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Christians are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

After the miraculous catch of fish, Christ invokes his disciples to become "fishers of men" by Raphael
The Church of Saint Peter near Antioch (modern-day Antakya), the city where the disciples were called "Christians".
The Latin cross and Ichthys symbols, two symbols often used by Christians to represent their religion
Nazareth is described as the childhood home of Jesus. Many languages employ the word "Nazarene" as a general designation for those of Christian faith.
Japanese Christians ("Kurisuchan") in Portuguese costume, 16–17th century
Percentage of Christians worldwide, June 2014
chrestianos, first mention of Christians in Tacitus' Annals. 11th century copy.
The Latin cross and Ichthys symbols, two symbols often used by Christians to represent their religion

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."

The Cenacle on Mount Zion, claimed to be the location of the Last Supper and Pentecost. Bargil Pixner claims the original Church of the Apostles is located under the current structure.

Early centers of Christianity

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Early Christianity (up to the First Council of Nicaea in 325) spread from the Levant, across the Roman Empire, and beyond.

Early Christianity (up to the First Council of Nicaea in 325) spread from the Levant, across the Roman Empire, and beyond.

The Cenacle on Mount Zion, claimed to be the location of the Last Supper and Pentecost. Bargil Pixner claims the original Church of the Apostles is located under the current structure.
A diagram of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre based on a German documentary. The church is claimed to be at the site of Calvary and the Tomb of Jesus.
The Church of St Peter near Antakya, Turkey, said to be the spot where Saint Peter first preached the Gospel in Roman Antioch.
Map of Western Anatolia showing the "Seven Churches of Asia" and the Greek island of Patmos.
Remains of the ancient Roman aqueduct in Caesarea Maritima.
St Paul's Pillar in Paphos
The Chapel of Saint Paul, said to be Bab Kisan where St. Paul escaped from Old Damascus
St. Peter's Basilica, believed to be the burial site of St. Peter, seen from the River Tiber
A scene showing Christ Pantocrator from a Roman mosaic in the church of Santa Pudenziana in Rome, c. 410 AD
Amphithéâtre des Trois-Gaules, in Lyon. The pole in the arena is a memorial to the people killed during the persecution.
St Paul's Islands near St. Paul's Bay, traditionally identified as the place where St Paul was shipwrecked
According to tradition, the Indo-Parthian king Gondophares was proselytized by St Thomas, who continued on to southern India, and possibly as far as Malaysia or China.

Early Christians gathered in small private homes, known as house churches, but a city's whole Christian community would also be called a church – the Greek noun ἐκκλησία (ekklesia) literally means assembly, gathering, or congregation but is translated as church in most English translations of the New Testament.

Christianity – Percentage of population by country (2014 data)

Christendom

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Culturally intertwined with.

Culturally intertwined with.

Christianity – Percentage of population by country (2014 data)
This T-and-O map, which abstracts the then known world to a cross inscribed within an orb, remakes geography in the service of Christian iconography. More detailed versions place Jerusalem at the center of the world.
Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (AD 325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Spread of Christianity by AD 600 (shown in dark blue is the spread of Early Christianity up to AD 325)
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna.
Picture of Christ in Majesty contained in an illuminated manuscript.
There are few old ceramic icons, such as this St. Theodor icon which dates to ca. 900 (from Preslav, Bulgaria).
The structure of a typical Gothic cathedral.
Science, and particularly geometry and astronomy, was linked directly to the divine for most medieval scholars. Since these Christians believed God imbued the universe with regular geometric and harmonic principles, to seek these principles was therefore to seek and worship God.
Relative geographic prevalence of Christianity versus Islam versus lack of either religion (2006).

The specific relationship between the political leaders and the clergy varied but, in theory, the national and political divisions were at times subsumed under the leadership of the church as an institution.

Church invisible

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The church invisible, invisible church, mystical church or church mystical, is a theological concept of an "invisible" Christian Church of the elect who are known only to God, in contrast to the "visible church"—that is, the institutional body on earth which preaches the gospel and administers the sacraments.

Acts 26:7–8, 20 on Papyrus 29 (c. AD 250).

Acts of the Apostles

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Acts 26:7–8, 20 on Papyrus 29 (c. AD 250).
Ministry of the Apostles: Russian icon by Fyodor Zubov, 1660
Acts 1:1–2a from the 14th century Minuscule 223
Paul's conversion, from Livre d'Heures d'Étienne Chevalier (c. 1450–1460), Jean Fouquet, in the Château de Chantilly
Saint Paul Writing His Epistles, ascribed to Valentin de Boulogne, 17th century

The Acts of the Apostles (, Práxeis Apostólōn; Actūs Apostolōrum) is the fifth book of the New Testament; it tells of the founding of the Christian Church and the spread of its message to the Roman Empire.