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World Religions Report

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Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recounted in the New Testament. As of the early 21st century, it has between 1.5 billion and 2.1 billion adherents, more than any other religion, and representing about a quarter of the world's population. It is the state religion of at least sixteen countries.

Its followers, known as Christians, believe Jesus to have been the Son of God and the Messiah (or Christ) prophesied in the Old Testament, the part of their scriptures they have in common with Judaism. To Christians, Jesus Christ is a teacher, the model of a pious life, the revealer of God, the mediator of salvation and the savoir who suffered, died and was resurrected in order to bring about salvation from sin for all Christians maintain that Jesus ascended into heaven and most denominations teach that Jesus will judge the living and the dead, granting everlasting life to his followers. The "good news" of Jesus' ministry is called the Gospel.

The Trinity is often regarded as an essential doctrine of mainstream Christianity. It is held by many to be a complex concept and there are varying interpretations. The most common understanding of the Holy Trinity, as espoused in the Nicene Creed, is one God that exists as three Persons вЂ" Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" represents both the immanence and transcendence of God. God is believed to be infinite and God's presence may be perceived through the actions of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

The first time the disciples were called "Christians", meaning "followers of Christ", was in Antioch. Ignatius of Antioch was the first Christian to use the label in self-reference. The earliest recorded use of the term Christianity was also by Ignatius of Antioch, around 100 AD.

Like Judaism and Islam, Christianity is classified as an Abrahamic religion (see also, Judeo-Christian). Through missionary work and colonization, Christianity spread firstly in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and parts of India and subsequently throughout the entire world.

The challenges Randy has with Christianity is sharing his faith with others and living a life of conformity. Randy believes the principles are the same now than it was when the religion first started. I learned from the interview the religion has been in practice for two thousands years and it was founded in Jerusalem, Israel. The founder was Jesus and the only changes to the religion have shown up in cults. Randy says there has been no change to the Christian classical religion.

Easter Sunrise Service at Windsor.

Every year, the Honorable Hilary and Galen Weston host an “Easter At Windsor” at Windsor, the private community they built north of Vero Beach in Florida. Windsor is a place where residents play polo, golf and tennis.

You can read about the Sunrise Service here.

Important holiday to the Christian Religion is Christmas and Easter. During the Easter holiday the religion holds a sunrise service. A Sunrise service is a worship service on Easter. It takes the place of the Roman Catholic tradition of the Easter Vigil, and is practiced by mainly Protestant churches. The service takes place outdoors, sometimes in a park, and the attendees are seated on outdoor chairs or benches. Many churches in the American South still hold traditional sunrise services in cemeteries as a sign of recognition that Jesus no longer lay in the tomb on Easter morning. The service starts early in the morning and is timed so that the attendants can see the sun rise when the service is going. Services usually loosely follow the format of the church's normal service and can include music (hymns or praise band), dramatic scenes and the Easter message. After the service, the church may serve a breakfast that the attendees of the service can attend.

During Christmas Christians celebrate the Nativity Scene. Christian nativity scenes, in two dimensions (drawings, paintings, icons, etc.) or three (sculpture or other three-dimensional crafts), usually show Jesus in a manger, Joseph and Mary in a barn (or cave) intended to accommodate farm animals. A donkey and an ox accompany them; besides the necessity of animals for a manger, this is an allusion to Isaiah: "the ox knoweth his

owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider" (Is. 1:3). The ox and donkey represent the people of Israel and the Gentiles respectively in such depictions. The scene sometimes includes the Magi or Three Wise Men (with or without a camel), shepherds and sheep, angels, and the Star of Bethlehem. The traditional scenes that show the shepherds and Magi together combine two different events in the Gospels: (1) the shepherds are informed by angels that "for to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord" (Matthew 2:10-11). (2) "When [the Magi] saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him" (Luke 2:11)

At Christmas time these arrangements are created and displayed in Catholic and Protestant homes, churches and parks. For the Christmas season, two nativity scenes are put on display at the Vatican. The first is put inside the Vatican Basilica. The second, placed in the Piazza San Pietro before the Christmas Tree, was made by Saint Vincent Pallotti.

Since about 75% of American adults identify themselves as Christian and only 0.5% view themselves as Buddhist, it may be useful to compare Buddhism with the U.S.'s dominant religion.

We define as "Christian" any person or group who thoughtfully, sincerely, prayerfully regard themselves as Christian. This is the definition that pollsters and the census offices of many countries use. It includes as Christians the full range of faith groups who consider themselves to be Christians, including Assemblies of God members, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists, United Church members, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, etc. Many Christians have a much less inclusive definition of the term "Christian."

Beliefs not shared:

1. Buddhists do not share most of the core beliefs of historical Christianity and many of the less critical beliefs accepted by some Christians. Buddhism does not teach:

2. An original golden era in the Garden of Eden, and a subsequent fall of humanity.

3. Original



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