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.
- 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.
- 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
History - 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
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
System and led to a preference for government by the people.