1. In approximately what year and place did this belief system originate?
Christianity first began in Palestine (modern day Israel) in the first century C.E. and was largely based off of the life, teachings and beliefs of God. It was said that God had a mortal child named Jesus. Jesus was a Jewish prophet who was believed to have been the prophesied Messiah (the promised deliverer of the Jewish nation mentioned in the Hebrew Bible). Christians then began to be persecuted by the Romans because of their belief in a single God. This forced them to go into hiding. It was no until 313 A.D., when the emperor Constantine made Christianity an licit religion of the Roman Empire.
2. Who is the founder and how did the belief system originate? If there is no founder how did the belief system come about? Explain.
Christianity originated in Israel, among Jews in the first century A.D. Judaism is the monotheistic religion of the Jews. Christianity was based on the life, death, teachings and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The people who believed in and followed Jesus Christ were called Christians. Jesus was also known as the son of God. Christianity is a monotheistic religion, which means they believe in one and only one true God. The sacred text of Christianity is the Bible, including both the Hebrew Scriptures (also known as the Old Testament) and the New Testament. Christians gather together at church to worship their God.
3. Explain who is the supreme being(s) (if there is one)* ?
In Christianity the term "Supreme Being" is used to refer to God. The Supreme being can also refer to Jesus Christ and the Holy Trinity. The Holy Trinity consists of God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There is more than one supreme being in Christianity such as Jesus Christ (God the Son) and "God the Father" or more widely known as the father of Jesus. Christianity's Supreme beings are included in the "New Testament" for instance God and Jesus. The religion itself all started when Jesus Christ was born. This a part of the reason why people think of Jesus as a supreme being. (because he was the son of God)
4. Are there any religious leaders or leaders in general of the belief system?
Explain their role, whether it be from the present or past. In Christianity, there are different types of leadership. The main leaders of Christianity were the Bishops, Priests, and Roman Catholic Pope. Bishops were in charge of the Christianity in the areas around a church. They were also the head of the church. Bishops communicate with each other to share information about Christianity and their churches. Priests help Bishops run the church. They may travel from church to church on occasion to provide services such as baptisms and weddings. The pope is the leader of the entire Roman Catholic church. They are in charge of being the representative or deliverer of God. 5. What is the symbol of this belief system? Explain why this symbol is used to represent the belief system?
The symbol of Christianity is The Cross. It is one of the earliest used symbols. They use the cross because Jesus died with a cross, it is said that it reminds the people of Gods love in sacrificing his own son for humanity. Another symbol that represents Christianity is called the Ichthys, also known as the fish. The fish was used within the first three centuries AD. The Christians use the fish as a symbol because, they believe Jesus came from or was born in water.
6. How did this belief system spread to other regions? If this belief system did not spread to other regions explain why.
Christianity spread throughout the world by the efforts of many Apostles. Apostles were followers of Christ (Jesus), who later spread Christ's teaching after his death. These people traveled the world teaching many people the religion of Christianity and the way that Jesus had died to save the Christian people. They made many enemies along the way such as Jewish leaders who did not want their followers to convert to Christianity. Despite all this, they still pushed forward and spread the teachings of Christ. Many of these Apostles died for their belief in Christianity. Faithful followers who die for their beliefs are called martyrs. Examples of some of the earliest Christian martyrs were Stephen and Peter, who were both killed in brutal ways by the opposers of Christianity. As time when on, they were rewarded with the title of Saint for their courageous work. Later, on in history Christianity was also able to spread to more parts of the world such as Rome and the ancient kingdom of Aksum. Today, more than 30% of the world's population is Christian.
Group 4- Beliefs Research Group
Group 5- Website and Social Media Group
Questions and answers
1. Can women and men hold the leadership/spiritual roles within the belief system?
Men can hold leadership and spiritual roles and women can not. In many churches men have developed a belief that if they listen to a women preach, or get guidance from a women, they or violating an unwritten law. This unwritten law forbids women from occupying authority in their life. A verse in the bible, Timothy 2:11, states "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man". This verse is showing how women are not able to lead prayers or become priests. A reason for this is that in the bible it is said that God created Adam before Eve and Adam was not the one deceived; it was EVe who was deceived and became a sinner. 2. Name two important historical figures, other than the founder/supreme being (that come out of this belief system and explain why they are important. If the religion is polytheistic, discuss 2 gods or goddesses).
There are various important people in Christianity, two of these important people are Jesus Christ and St. Augustine. Both benefited to Christianity in their own way. Jesus Christ is a very important person in Christianity. Jesus Christ was a Rabbi who lived a sinless life. At age 30, Jesus was baptized and declared ‘the son of god’ by John the Baptist. After being declared ‘son of god’ Jesus’ crowd grew larger and larger. Due to Jesus exclaiming he is the ‘son of god’ he was taken to high court, where the priests accused him of being the King of Jews. He was then sentenced to death. When Jesus was crucified many believed that Jesus was paying for all their sins in life, and with that Christianity began.
3. What are some important holidays/festivals from this belief system? Holidays are a significant part of Christian religious practice. On Easter Sunday, christians believe that, it is the most significant Christian holiday because it celebrates Jesus’ resurrection after three days of his execution by crucifixion. Christmas, is another crucial holiday for this belief system because it is the day where Western christians decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Christians have been celebrating his birth on this day since the fourth century. According to a Christian writer, “We hold this day holy, not like the pagans of the sun, but because of him who made it.”
4. Where is the belief system mainly practiced today? Why? Explain. If it is not commonly practiced today, explain.
Christianity is mainly practiced in the western part of the world in areas like America, Europe and Oceania. In the western world the Christian population far greater than any other population. In America the Christian population in 2014 was 83.84%. In Europe the Christian population in 2014 was 65.86%. In Oceania the Christian population in 2014 was 71.14%. Overall the global population that practices Christianity is 32.50%.
5. How many adherents (followers) does this belief system have? What percentage of the world population practices this belief system? Christianity is a religion that is monotheistic and is centered on the life and teachings of Jesus. To be monotheistic is to believe in only one God. The Christian religion has approximatly 2.2 billion adherents. Nearly 32 percent of the world practices Christianity. Christianity is also known as the religion with the most adherents. Christianity has spread through the world and is now practiced all around the globe!
6. Is the belief system religiously tolerant? How does the religion promote peace?
Christianity is religiously tolerant because in the bible, Jesus would accept those of other beliefs, such as asking a Samaritan woman for water. Samaritans were looked down upon by Jews, so it was surprising when Jesus paid no mind to her background. It is heavily enforced in the religion to respect and tolerate what others believe, to make peace with those around you. A verse in the bible, acts 10:28, states, "...but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean." This is only one of the several verses that state something about religious tolerance and tolerance against others. Christianity promotes peace by teaching people to respect your neighbors, and even enemies.