History of Christianity
Christianity is based upon the teachings of Jesus, a Jew who lived his life in the Roman province of Palestine. Roman communications networks enabled Christianity to spread quickly throughout the Roman empire and eventually to the rest of Europe, and finally the entire globe.
As time progressed, Christianity divided into three major branches. The Roman Catholic branch of Christianity is the successor of the church established in Rome soon after Christ's death. It traces its spiritual history to the early disciples of Jesus. The Pope, or spiritual leader, traces his office's lineage back to St. Peter, the first Pope, one of Jesus' disciples. Roman Catholicism was originally predominately practiced in Ireland, Poland, France and Spain.
During the fourth century, the Roman Catholic church split and the Eastern Orthodox branch was formed.
'Romanian Church' © MIT Orthodox Christian Fellowship
The split was primarily a political one due to the division of the Roman Empire into western and eastern components. The two churches became officially separate in 1054. Orthodox churches are largely national, each associated with a particular country. Orthodoxy is common in Russia, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, the Ukraine, and Armenia.
The Protestant branch split from Roman Catholicism during the Reformation, a sixteenth and seventeenth century series of church reforms in doctrine and practice. This movement challenged the authority of the Pope, and became popular in Scandinavia, England, and the Netherlands. Protestantism eventually divided into many denominations which arose in response to disputes over doctrine, theology, or religious practice. Some of the large denominations today are Lutherans, Methodists and Baptists.
The Apostle's Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ,
His only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell;
The third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit
, The holy Christian Church,
The Communion of Saints,
the Forgiveness of sins,
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting.