It is a monotheistic religion which refers to its origin as related with Jesus Christ. With more than 2 billion of believers it is the most widespread religion in the world. The first usage of this term was recorded by the Syrian bishop Ignacio of Antichoie († 106/107).
As mentioned above, Christianity is the most widespread religion of the world and as such it involves 1/3 of the world's population. There exist many analysis and opinions about how fast and by which way the number of its proponents is changing. Yet the fact is that when considering the absolute numbers it is the most quickly spreading religion. Still it is not spread out evenly. It is a predominant religion of three continents, namely America, Europe and Australia. In Africa it shares by half with Islam. The only continent, where the Christians don't make a very numerous religious minority, is however the most populated, Asia.
The Christian faith is mainly characterized by the following:
- There is only one God and he is tri-personal: he is made of a unique essence, which exists within three persons: the Father (The Creator), the God's Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. Simultaneously, for a man, God is invisible and hidden (Deus absconditus) and revealed (Deus revelatus).
- Jesus Christ preached the coming kingdom of God, which came within him. He did not commit a sin, his sacrifice on the cross and subsequent resurrection, brought the faithful forgiveness of their sins and inherited guilt. Jesus is God and a man ( two natures in Christ; WRIT the council of Chalcedony)
- The faithful are baptized - immersed - in Christ's death. They live spiritually in their faith and will be resurrected in their bodies after their death. They accept the Holy Spirit as a gift from God, who leads their soul, enables them to know God's will and keeps the church in truth.
- Jesus will come again at the end of times to judge and rule in his power and fame. The faithful will live with him an eternal life in God's presence. As long as the world exists, the church is sent to preach the Gospel.
- The Christian holy writ contains gospel and it is inspired by God. Therefore, the Bible is the first recognized source of information about Jesus and God. Jesus´ mother Maria gave birth to the God's Son as a virgin from the Holy Spirit (WRIT Council of Efes). Therefore, she has a privileged position in a catholic and orthodox religious world and Christians very often ask her for intercession with God. In a protestant religious world she does not have this significance.
Among the largest Christian religious groups belong Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant church.