The new Christian religion emerged based on the testimony of the Scriptures, as interpreted by the life of Jesus Christ and the teaching of His Apostles, which were documented in the Bible.
Christian Religion History - The Rise of Christianity in the Roman Era
Christianity began among a small number of Jews (about 120, see Acts 1:15). Christianity was seen as a threat to the Roman Empire as Christians refused to worship the Roman gods or the Emperor. This resulted in the persecution of the early Christians, many of whom were killed and thus became martyrs to the Christian religion. The prosecution of adherents to the Christian religion ended during the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Emperor Constantine I (AD ca. 285 - AD 337) of the Roman Empire legalised Christianity and Constantine the Great proclaimed himself as an 'Emperor of the Christian people'. Most of the Roman Emperors that came after Constantine were Christians. Christianity then became the official religion of the Roman Empire instead of the old Roman religion that had worshipped many Gods and spread across the whole of Europe.
Christian Religion History - From Christian to Catholic
By the 5th century, the Roman empire began to crumble. Germanic tribes (barbarians) conquered the city of Rome. This event started the era in history referred to as the Dark Ages. The period of the Dark Ages saw the growth in the power of the Christian Church which was then referred to as the Catholic religion. This change in name had started when early Christians, such as Saint Ignatius of Antioch, used the word 'catholic' to describe the whole Church - the literal meaning being universal or whole. Any other sects were viewed as heretical. The Catholic religion was seen as the true religion.
History of the Catholic Religion
Christian Religion History - The Great Schism
The Christian church was divided geographically between the west (Rome) and the east (Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch). The split between the Eastern and Western Christian Churches was called the Great Schism of 1054. The split, the Great Schism, led to the development of the modern Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.
The Great Schism
Christian Religion History - The Protestant Reformation
The Christian church was split again during the early Medieval era when a Christian reform movement developed in which members looked to reform practises of the Catholic church particularly involving the sale of indulgences. The Protestant reformation divided Christians and reshaped political values and religious values throughout Europe. The authority of the Catholic Pope over regional rulers was challenged and European Kings gained absolute control over their kingdoms. This Anti-Authoritarianism doctrine resulted in the decline of the Medieval Feudal System and led to a preference for government by the people.