Christianity (the main facts)

What do you know about Christianity?

Christmas is coming. It is time to check yourself what you know about Christianity, one of the  world’s major religions.

The world’s major religions are Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. 

The words to know:

  • a follower — a person who supports and admires a particular person or set of ideas
  • Jesus Christ [‘ʤiːzəsˌ(kraɪst)]
  • a Jew [ʤuː]  — a person who believes in and practises the religion of Judaism
  • Bethlehem [‘bɛθlɪhɛm] — a small town 8 km (5 miles) south of Jerusalem
  • crucify [‘kruːsɪfaɪ] — put (someone) to death by nailing or binding them to a cross
  • rise from the dead — restore (a dead person) to life
  • a disciple — a follower
  • Christian Festivals a day or period of celebration, typically for religious reasons
  • God revealed himself in Jesus Christ — Jesus Christ make God known to others
  • Christ was crucified and resurrected — Christ was put to death, but he restored to life
  • worship — to express the feeling of great respect and great love
  • Church — a building used for public Christian worship
  • Chapel — a small building or room used for Christian worship in a school, prison, hospital, or large private house
  • Cathedral — a cathedral is a very large important church which has a bishop in charge of it
  • The Bible is the Christian holy book.

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Text about Christianity (only the main facts)

Christianity is the world’s biggest religion, with about 2.2 billion followers worldwide. It is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ who lived in the Holy Land 2000 years ago. Through its missionary activity Christianity has spread to most parts of the world. The founder of Christianity is Jesus Christ (Jesus of Nazareth).

Jesus was a Jew who was born in Bethlehem. He lived for 33 years before being crucified by Romans. He came to earth to teach about love and fellowship.

Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples (followers) to show everyone that there is another life after death. They also believe that there is one God, but it consists of three «persons» — God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The most important Christian Festivals are Lent, Easter and Christmas.

Lent is the period preceding Easter, which is devoted to fasting in commemoration of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness.

Easter is the most important festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Christ.

Christmas is the annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth.

There are three main branches of Christianity — the Catholic Church, the Church of England and the Orthodox Church.

The Catholic Church is the branch of the Christian Church that accepts the Pope as its leader and is based in the Vatican in Rome.

The Church of England is the English branch of the Western Christian Church, which combines Catholic and Protestant traditions, rejects the Pope’s authority, and has the monarch as its titular head. The English Church was part of the Catholic Church until the Reformation of the 16th century; after Henry VIII failed to obtain a divorce from Catherine of Aragon he repudiated papal supremacy, bringing the Church under the control of the Crown.

The Orthodox Church is a Christian Church originating in the Greek-speaking Church of the Byzantine Empire, not accepting the authority of the Pope of Rome, and using elaborate and ancient forms of service.

All Christians share common beliefs that God revealed himself in Jesus Christ, that Christ was crucified and resurrected.

The Christian place of worship is a Church, also a Chapel and a Cathedral. They are often built in the shape of a cross with the altar facing east towards the rising sun. Churches are usually beautifully decorated. Christian worship involves praising God in music, speech, readings from scripture.

The Bible, the Christian holy book, is divided into the Old and New Testaments. Parts of the writing contained in the Old Testament are also sacred to Jewish and Muslim people.

Old Testament is the first part of the Christian Bible, comprising thirty-nine books and corresponding approximately to the Hebrew Bible.

New Testament is the second part of the Christian Bible, written originally in Greek and recording the life and teachings of Christ and his earliest followers.

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