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Tags: christianity fast facts | figures | religion | history

Christianity Fast Facts: 10 Important Figures in Religion's Story

By    |   Wednesday, 01 April 2015 10:52 AM EDT

Christianity didn't become the world's largest religion on its own. Over its 2,000 year history there have been many individuals who have helped define, mold, and spread Christianity and its message.

Below are a few Christianity fast facts and 10 important figures in this religion's history:

1. Jesus Christ: The founder, basis, and deity of Christianity, Christ is recognized as the Son of God who was born of the virgin Mary, and died on a cross and rose from the dead, all so the sins of humanity could be forgiven. Without Christ there is no Christianity.

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2. Augustine:
Now known as St. Augustine, he proposed many new ideas regarding free will, original sin, and baptism in the late 300s that helped define current Protestant and Catholic beliefs.

3. St. Francis of Assisi:
The founder of the Franciscan Order, Saint Francis stood on a platform of giving, devoting himself to a life of poverty. He traveled and ardently preached a message of repentance and poverty during his life around the turn of the 13th century.

4. John Wycliffe: He translated some of the earliest versions of the Bible into English in the mid 1300s, helping make it widely available to the masses.

5. Martin Luther:
The author of the 95 Thesis and reformer of the Roman Catholic Church, Luther was a key figure in the Protestant Reformation. He was excommunicated from the Catholic Church. A denomination was formed from his beliefs that the Bible was more important than the Church where Christianity was concerned.

6. John Calvin: Another leader of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s, Calvin considered ethics and theology inseparable. He is the father of Calvinism.

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7. John Wesley: He is credited with starting the Methodist movement in the 1700s when he began preaching that mankind could experience Christ personally. Also known as Wesleyanism, his teachings influenced many denominations including Methodism, Pentecostalism, and the Holiness movement.

8. Mother Theresa: During the 20th century, the name of the Roman Catholic nun was synonymous with charity. She was devoted to serving the poor and less fortunate and encouraged others to do the same.

9. Pope Francis: The current pope emphasizes humility, charity and modesty, living a life of simplicity himself. He differs from many former Popes by emphasizing personal religion and care for the poor instead of focusing on issues like homosexuality and abortion.

10. Billy Graham: He has preached a message of repentance and salvation to millions in person and through the media. He is one of the leading proponents of Christianity in the 20th century, not only in the United States, but also around the world, according to Christianity Today.

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FastFeatures
Christianity didn't become the world's largest religion on its own. Over its 2,000 year history there have been many individuals who have helped define, mold, and spread Christianity and its message.
christianity fast facts, figures, religion, history
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2015-52-01
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 10:52 AM
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