Christianity: The world's largest religion.
Religions of the world
Christianity: The world's largest religion
From all viewpoints: There are many:
yours and a few thousand others
"Christianity started out in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise." Variously attributed to Sam Pascoe, an American scholar and to Richard Halverson, former chaplain to the U.S. Senate. Pascoe is cited as the author more than ten times as often as Halverson on the Internet.
"Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words." -- Francis of Assisi.
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Paul, Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV)
"Christianity is not a religion; it is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ." Anonymous posting to a Christian mailing list.
"The world is equally shocked at hearing Christianity criticized and seeing it practiced." Elton Trueblood, (1900 - 1994), American author and theologian.
Many people think that the Bible is the authentic word of God and they worship the Bible, making it an idol..." Alan Watts, from "The Essence of Alan Watts series - GOD.
The contents of this section might not be what you expect.
There are over a million religious web sites on the Internet. Almost all promote a single viewpoint -- that of the webmaster. This web site is different. Our goal is to help religious people understand the diversity of beliefs and practices within Christianity.
This web site has a lot more material on Christianity than on any other religion. That is because about 75% of American adults identify themselves as Christian. In comparison, the next largest religions are Islam and Judaism, whose memberships total only one or two percent of the U.S. population.
There are probably thousands of different definitions of the word "Christian." We have chosen the same inclusive definition as is used by public opinion pollsters and government census offices: A "Christian" includes any group or individual who seriously, devoutly, prayerfully describes themselves as Christian. Under this definition, Christianity includes: Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, United Church members, even a small minority of Unitarian Universalists, etc.
We try to explain the full diversity of Christian beliefs: from those held by very conservative to very liberal believers. Sometimes we also include the diversity of beliefs of the very early Christian movement from the 1st and 2nd century CE.
Many of our visitors are distressed because they find the material on our site which describes beliefs by Christians from other denominations. They regard these beliefs to be in gross error, unacceptable, and even blasphemous and un-Christian or anti-Christian. If you are distressed by these beliefs, please do not write us angry Emails. Please take up your complaints with the people who hold those beliefs. We are religious reporters, not theologians. However, if you find that we have incorrectly explained the beliefs of a Christian group, please do inform us.
Points of concern:
It is our policy to compare and contrast the beliefs and practices of very conservative with very liberal Christians. Most North American Christians belong to either a mainline denomination or the Roman Catholic Church. Their own faith group may teach some beliefs similar to the conservative wing of Christianity. Some beliefs are similar to that of the liberal wing. Some beliefs are intermediate between the two.
We feel that it is important for persons of all faith groups (Christian and non-Christian) to understand the great diversity of Christian beliefs -- both among denominations today and throughout history. Many Christians are aware of their own denomination's current beliefs, but are unfamiliar with the history of those beliefs, or of the teachings of other denominations. Whether you want to convert others or dialogue with them, it helps to know what they believe.
People in the U.S. and Canada are going to need religious understanding and tolerance in the future. These two countries are the most religiously diverse countries in the world -- and are becoming increasingly diverse. If current trends reported by the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) continue:
The percentage of adults in both countries who identify themselves as Christian will continue to drop by about 0.8 percentage points per year.
Some commentators predicted that adults in the Protestant denominations of Christianity probably became a minority sometime during 2006
Christians will become a minority in in Canada about 2023 and in the U.S. about the year 2042.
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