Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who serves as the focal point for the religion. It is the world’s largest religion, with over 2.4 billion followers, or 33% of the global population, known as Christians. Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the saviour of humanity whose coming as the Messiah (the Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament.
- Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament.
- Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
- Christians believe that God sent his Son to earth to save humanity from the consequences of its sins.
- One of the most important concepts in Christianity is that of Jesus giving his life on the Cross (the Crucifixion) and rising from the dead on the third day (the Resurrection).
- Christians believe that there is only one God, but that there are three elements to this one God:
- God the Father
- God the Son
- The Holy Spirit
- Christians worship in churches.
- Their spiritual leaders are called priests or ministers.
- The Christian holy book is the Bible and consists of the Old and New Testaments.
- Christian holy days such as Easter and Christmas are important milestones in the Western secular calendar.
Roman Catholics believe the doctrine of the Assumption, which teaches that at the end of her life, Mary, the mother of Christ, was taken body and soul (i.e. both physically and spiritually) into heaven to live with her son (Jesus Christ) forever.
Human beings have to wait until the end of time for their bodily resurrection, but Mary’s body was able to go straight to heaven because her soul hadn’t been tainted by original sin.
Catholics celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on August 15th each year. Eastern Orthodox Christians, following the Julian calendar, mark the event as the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, or the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God.