Christianity Analysis
Christianity was traditionally understood to be founded by Jesus of Nazareth.

Paul of Tarsus, after his conversion on the road to Damascus, worked tirelessly
to establish Christianity among both Jews and God-fearing Gentiles of the

Diaspora. Clues in the New Testament indicate that there was a significant rift
between Paul and the Jewish leadership early in the history of the Church. It is
primarily Paul's writings which has most influenced the Church today. Christians
span the globe and are present on all the inhabited continents and in most of
the world's societies. As Christianity is a universalizing religion, it embraces
all nations and peoples. Major Teachings: Most Christian denominations and sects
teach that man is sinful and can never inherit eternal life in the presence of

God as a result of the sins of our first parents, Adam and Eve,as well as our
own personal sin. It thus became necessary for God to become man in the person
of Jesus Christ who as the Son of God was sinless and unblemished. His purpose
was to suffer and die in atonement for the sins of all who accept his sacrifice
for sin. Individual salvation is dependent upon the acceptance of this
atonement. The Church is the Bride of Christ whose purpose is to spread this
message, "the Gospel", to all people before Christ's return to the
earth to rule all nations as the heir to the throne of David. This is primary
message of most Christians. Other sects will have variations on this message,
and may include many other doctrines they find necessary to their own message or
purpose. Scriptures and Other Significant Writings: The New Testament together
with the Jewish Bible make up the canon of Christianity. The Roman Catholic and
the Eastern Orthodox branches of Christianity also include books in their canons
that many Protestants do not, called "the Apocrypha" or the "Deuterocanonicals".

Also important are the writings of the early church fathers and early church
councils, which established much of the doctrine now considered dogma in the

Church today. As of 1986, at least one book of the Christian Bible has been
translated into 1,848 languages of the world. A book has been compiled by the

United Bible Societies which lists languages alphabetically, chronologically,
and geographically Of the present missionary efforts by many of Christianity's
sects, biblical translation is just one of many. Symbols: The most well known
symbol of Christianity is the cross, or crucifix, symbol of the death and
resurrection of Jesus Christ. An ancient symbol of Christianity is the fish
formed by two intersecting arcs. Often the Greek word for fish, IXTHYS, appears
within being an acronym for "Jesus Christ God's Son". Major Divisions:

The three major branches of Christianity are Roman Catholicism, Eastern

Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. There are, arguably, other sects such as Mormonism
claiming this distinction due to major departures from orthodox doctrines. Major

Holy Days: Although the differing divisions and sects of Christianity may
celebrate differing holidays, place emphasis on certain holidays rather than
others, or may use a differing calendar, the major holy days of Christianity
are: Lent, Easter, Advent, and Christmas The Details about Christianity:

Christianity arose as an obscure Jewish sect, and through the dedicated
missionary efforts of such persons as the Apostle Paul was distributed
throughout the Mediterranean basin. Church tradition suggests that each of the
remaining Apostles of Jesus taught in such diverse places as the British Isles
and India. After years of official persecution by the Roman Empire, Christianity
was embraced as the state religion by Emperor Constantine.Several important
church councils were held during this time period to decide on controversies
over doctrine. Eventually, the decisions of these councils provided guidelines
to determine orthodoxy or heresy. The many divisions and sects now found in

Christianity today has been the result of opinions which differed from the
established doctrine. The Geography of Christianity: Christianity has greatly
influenced the geography of medieval Europe, and later, the rest of the world
due to colonization and missionary efforts. Perhaps the most significant
contribution of Christianity was the reorganization of Europe from pagan bands
and villages into the centrally organized holds of feudal Europe. This
reorganization was patterned after the ecclesiastical hierarchy envisioned by
the Church and set the stage for all that was to come in the future. Monasteries
were set up throughout Europe as either destinations or as waystations for
pilgrimages. Monasteries became the repositories of civilization, learning, and
often wealth. The Church provided sanction and divine recognition for
governments of the day in the form of "Divine Right". The Church was
responsible for the ordination of kings and often arbitrated disputes over
territory. Until