Christianity is an [note 1] Abrahamic monotheistic based on the religion and teachings of life . Its adherents, known as Jesus of Nazareth , believe that Jesus is the Christians , the Christ , and the Son of God , whose coming as the savior of all people was Messiah in the Hebrew Scriptures of Judaism, called the prophesied in Christianity, and chronicled in the Old Testament . New Testament It is the  with over 2.4 billion followers. world's largest religion 
Christianity began as a
Second Temple Judaic in the 1st century in the sect of Roman province . Jesus' Judea and their followers spread around apostles , Syria , Levant , Europe , Anatolia , Mesopotamia , Transcaucasia , and Egypt , despite Ethiopia . It soon attracted initial persecution gentile , which led to a departure from God-fearers , and, after the Jewish customs which ended the Temple-based Judaism, Christianity as a religion began. Fall of Jerusalem, AD 70
converted to Christianity (312) and decriminalized it in the Roman Empire by the Constantine the Great (313), later convening the Edict of Milan (325) where Council of Nicaea was consolidated into what would become the Early Christianity (380). The state church of the Roman Empire 's united early history of Christianity before major communion is sometimes referred to as the " schisms ". Great Church and the Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Church of the East (451) over differences in Council of Chalcedon , Christology while the  and the Eastern Orthodox Church separated in the Catholic Church (1054), especially over the authority of the East–West Schism . Similarly, bishop of Rome split in numerous denominations from the Catholic Church in the Protestantism (16th century) over Reformation and theological disputes, most predominantly ecclesiological and the on the issue of justification . Following the primacy of the bishop of Rome (15th–17th century), Christianity was spread into the Age of Discovery , Americas , Oceania , and the rest of the world via sub-Saharan Africa . missionary work   
Christianity remains culturally diverse in its
and Western , as well as in its doctrines concerning Eastern branches , ecclesiology, justification and the nature of salvation , and ordination . The four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church (1.3 billion/50.1 %), Protestantism (920 million/36.7 %), the Eastern Orthodox Church (260 million) and Oriental Orthodoxy (86 million/both together 11.9 %), amid various efforts toward unity ( Christology ). ecumenism Their  generally hold in common Jesus as the creeds - the Son of God logos - who incarnated , ministred , and suffered , but died on a cross for the rose from the dead of mankind; as referred to as salvation , meaning the "good news", in the the gospel ( Bible ). Describing Jesus' life and teachings are the four scripture of canonical gospels , Matthew , Mark and Luke with the Jewish Old Testament as the gospel's respected background. John
played Christian ethics in the development of a prominent role , Western civilization     particularly around Europe from  and the late antiquity . Despite a Middle Ages in Europe since the decline , counterculture of the 1960s Christianity remains the dominant religion in the West, with about 70% of the population identifying as Christian.   in Africa and Asia, the world's most populous continents. Christianity is growing However, Christians remain as a whole the most  group in the world, especially around the religious persecuted where it is "at near Islamic world levels". genocide 
In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers".
της οδου), probably coming from , "prepare the way of the Lord." Isaiah 40:3  According to [note 2] , the term "Christian" ( Acts 11:26 : Greek Χριστιανός) was first used in reference to Jesus's in the city of disciples , meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. Antioch The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" (Greek:  Χριστιανισμός) was by , in around 100 AD.
Ignatius of Antioch
Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as 'The Way' (