Funerary stele of Licinia Amias on marble, in the National Roman Museum. One of the earliest Christian inscriptions found, it comes from the early 3rd century Vatican necropolis area in Rome. It contains the text ΙΧΘΥϹ ΖΩΝΤΩΝ ("fish of the living"), a predecessor of the Ichthys symbol.
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.
Valentin de Boulogne's depiction of Saint Paul Writing His Epistles, c. 1618-1620 (Blaffer Foundation Collection, Houston, Texas)
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.
The eastern Mediterranean region in the time of Paul the Apostle
Various depictions of Jesus
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.
Christ Jesus, the Good Shepherd, 3rd century
Crucifixion, representing the death of Jesus on the Cross, painting by Diego Velázquez, c. 1632.
The Church of St Peter near Antakya, Turkey, said to be the spot where Saint Peter first preached the Gospel in Roman Antioch.
St. Lawrence (martyred 258) before Emperor Valerianus by Fra Angelico
The Law and the Gospel by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1529); Moses and Elijah point the sinner to Jesus for salvation.
Map of Western Anatolia showing the "Seven Churches of Asia" and the Greek island of Patmos.
A folio from Papyrus 46, an early-3rd-century collection of Pauline epistles
The Trinity is the belief that God is one God in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.
Remains of the ancient Roman aqueduct in Caesarea Maritima.
Virgin and Child. Wall painting from the early Roman catacombs, 4th century.
Midnight Mass at a Catholic parish church in Woodside, New York City, U.S.
St Paul's Pillar in Paphos
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Show on the life of Jesus at Igreja da Cidade in São José dos Campos, affiliated to the Brazilian Baptist Convention.
The Chapel of Saint Paul, said to be Bab Kisan where St. Paul escaped from Old Damascus
Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine (centre) and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
An early circular ichthys symbol, created by combining the Greek letters ΙΧΘΥΣ into a wheel, Ephesus, Asia Minor.
St. Peter's Basilica, believed to be the burial site of St. Peter, seen from the River Tiber
Imagined portrait of Arius; detail of a Cretan School icon, c. 1591, depicting the First Council of Nicaea.
The Bible is the sacred book in Christianity.
A scene showing Christ Pantocrator from a Roman mosaic in the church of Santa Pudenziana in Rome, c. 410 AD
The ceiling mosaic of the Arian Baptistery, built in Ravenna by the Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great.
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, the largest church in the world and a symbol of the Catholic Church.
Amphithéâtre des Trois-Gaules, in Lyon. The pole in the arena is a memorial to the people killed during the persecution.
An Eastern Roman mosaic showing a basilica with towers, mounted with Christian crosses, 5th century, Louvre
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.
St Paul's Islands near St. Paul's Bay, traditionally identified as the place where St Paul was shipwrecked
The Church of the East during the Middle Ages
The Monastery of St. Matthew, located atop Mount Alfaf in northern Iraq, is recognized as one of the oldest Christian monasteries in existence.
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.
Coptic icon of St. Anthony the Great, father of Christian monasticism and early anchorite. The Coptic inscription reads ‘Ⲡⲓⲛⲓϣϯ Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲁⲛⲧⲱⲛⲓ’ ("the Great Father Anthony").
Kadisha Valley, Lebanon, home to some of the earliest Christian monasteries in the world.
A mosaic of Justinian I in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy
Christendom by A.D. 600 after its spread to Africa and Europe from the Middle East.
Roderick is venerated as one of the Martyrs of Córdoba
An example of Byzantine pictorial art, the Deësis mosaic at the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
Raid on the Monastery of Zobe and the death of hegumenos Michael and his 36 brothers, depicted in the Menologion of Basil II.
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.
"Hospitality of Abraham", icon by Andrei Rublev; the three angels represent the Godhead according to Trinitarian Christians.
Martin Luther initiated the Reformation with his Ninety-five Theses in 1517.
Western Europe, the Holy Roman Empire, Kievan Rus', and the Byzantine Empire in the Middle Ages (year 1000)
Michelangelo's 1498–99 Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica; the Catholic Church was among the patronages of the Renaissance.
The spread of Cistercians from their original sites in Western-Central Europe during the Middle Ages
A depiction of Madonna and Child in a 19th-century Kakure Kirishitan Japanese woodcut.
Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor at the gate of Canossa Castle in 1077, during the Investiture controversy.
A Christian procession in Brazil, the country with the largest Catholic population in the world.
The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Crusader states with their strongholds in the Holy Land at their height, between the First and the Second Crusade (1135)
Trinity Sunday in Russia; the Russian Orthodox Church has experienced a great revival since the fall of communism.
St. Cyril and St. Methodius monument on Mt. Radhošť
The global distribution of Christians: Countries colored a darker shade have a higher proportion of Christians.
Christianization of Kievan Rus', the first unified federation of Slavic tribes
Pope Francis, the current leader of the Catholic Church.
Christianization of Moravia under the rule of Rastislav
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.
Jan Hus defending his theses at the Council of Constance (1415), painting by the Czech artist Václav Brožík
Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, the seat of the Ethiopian Orthodox.
Michelangelo's Pietà (1498–99) in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
A 6th-century Nestorian church, St. John the Arab, in the Assyrian village of Geramon in Hakkari, southeastern Turkey.
American Discovery Viewed by Native Americans (Thomas Hart Benton, 1922). European discovery and colonization had disastrous effects on the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and their societies.
Saint Mary Church; an ancient Assyrian church located in the city of Urmia, Iran.
The Council in Santa Maria Maggiore church; Museo Diocesiano Tridentino, Trento
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.
Galileo before the Holy Office, a 19th-century painting by Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury
Unitarian Church of Transylvania in Cluj-Napoca.
Philipp Spener, the founder of Pietism
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Churches of the Moscow Kremlin, as seen from the Balchug
A copy of the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas, a famous Christian apologetic work.
Demolition of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow on the orders of Joseph Stalin, 5 December 1931, consistent with the doctrine of state atheism in the USSR
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.
Pope Pius XI
Laying on of hands during a service in a neo-charismatic church in Ghana
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 history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Christians with their various denominations, from the 1st century to the present.

- History of Christianity

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

- Early centers of Christianity

The first followers of Christianity were Jews or proselytes, commonly referred to as Jewish Christians and God-fearers.

- Early centers of Christianity

The earliest followers of Jesus were apocalyptic Jewish Christians.

- History of Christianity

Christianity began as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the 1st century Hellenistic Judaism in the Roman province of Judea.

- Christianity

Jewish Christianity is the foundation of Early Christianity, which later developed into Christianity.

- Jewish Christian

Jesus' apostles and their followers spread around the Levant, Europe, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, the South Caucasus, Egypt, and Ethiopia, despite initial persecution.

- Christianity

It soon attracted gentile God-fearers, which led to a departure from Jewish customs, and, after the Fall of Jerusalem, AD 70 which ended the Temple-based Judaism, Christianity slowly separated from Judaism.

- Christianity

According to, the term "Christian" (Χριστιανός) was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ", by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch.

- Jewish Christian

The early Christian groups were strictly Jewish, such as the Ebionites, and the early Christian community in Jerusalem, led by James the Just, brother of Jesus.

- History of Christianity

Jewish Christians were the original members of the Jewish movement that later became Christianity.

- Jewish Christian
Funerary stele of Licinia Amias on marble, in the National Roman Museum. One of the earliest Christian inscriptions found, it comes from the early 3rd century Vatican necropolis area in Rome. It contains the text ΙΧΘΥϹ ΖΩΝΤΩΝ ("fish of the living"), a predecessor of the Ichthys symbol.

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Jesus Washing Peter's Feet, painting by Ford Madox Brown (1852–1856), Tate Britain, London

Christianity in the 1st century

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Jesus Washing Peter's Feet, painting by Ford Madox Brown (1852–1856), Tate Britain, London
The Crucifixion, by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, c. 1745–1750, Saint Louis Art Museum
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.
James the Just, whose judgment was adopted in the apostolic decree of
Saint Paul, by El Greco
Mediterranean Basin geography relevant to Paul's life, stretching from Jerusalem in the lower right to Rome in the upper left.
An artistic representation of St. Clement I, an Apostolic Father.
A coin issued by Nerva reads
fisci Judaici calumnia sublata,
"abolition of malicious prosecution in connection with the Jewish tax"

Christianity in the 1st century covers the formative history of Christianity from the start of the ministry of Jesus ( 27–29 AD) to the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles ( 100) and is thus also known as the Apostolic Age.

Paul the Apostle, a Pharisee Jew who had persecuted the early Jewish Christians, converted 33–36 and started to proselytize among the Gentiles.

The apostles went on to spread the message of the Gospel around the classical world and founded apostolic sees around the early centers of Christianity.

The Edict of Serdica was issued in 311 by the Roman emperor Galerius, officially ending the Diocletianic persecution of Christianity in the East.