The purported miracles of Jesus of Nazareth (in addition to his life and teachings) form the basis of Christianity as an Abrahamic monotheistic religion. Jesus is the primary figure in the form of belief, he who is also known as the Messiah or the Christ. With 2.4 billion followers (roughly 33% of the global population), Christianity holds the record for being the largest religion in the world. Christians, those who practice Christianity, view Jesus as the Son of God who will come back to the world as the Messiah to save humanity, a prophecy written in the Old Testament. Western Civilization has Christianity to thank for its role in shaping the world. Christianity dated back to the mid-1st century, where it first emerged out of Judaism as a Judaic sect of Second Temple. Its birthplace was Judea, a Roman province, from which it spread across the world including Syria, Anatolia, Europe, Transcaucasia,
Mesopotamia, Ethiopia, Egypt, as well as the Indian subcontinent. Christianity had become the Roman EmpireÆs official state religion at the end of the 4th century. After the Age of Discovery, the religion spread to sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and the Americas through colonization and missionary work.
The Nicene Creed and the ApostlesÆ Creed contain the basic theology of Christianity. The creeds dictate that Jesus first suffered on the cross and died. He was buried subsequently and descended into hell. From there, he would rise back and offer eternal life to anyone who has faith in him. Those granted happiness will also be forgiven for their sins in the past. The creeds also say that Christ rises to heaven to unite with God the Father and the Holy Spirit and reigns there. He would then return to the world to provide judgment for both the living and the dead.
Written accounts of the life and teaching of Jesus are referred to as the gospel. There are four gospels of such nature: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These four gospels are canonical and are contained within the 5th century Christian Bible of the original Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches during a period known as the Great churchùuntil the two split during an event called East-West Schism in 1054. There are currently four large branches of Christianity: the Catholic Church, Protestantism, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Oriental Orthodoxy. The East-West Schism refers to the split between the Catholic, the Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox churches. Protestantism broke communion from the Catholic Church in the 16th century.