World Religion
The History of Christianity

The History of Christianity
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.62

     challenging words:    holiness, cornerstone, foreground, apparatus, sacked, friar, unravel, monastery, plague, monk, divine, reading, surprising, spans, nuns, purely
     content words:    Jesus Christ, Roman Empire, Many Christians, Most Christians, Holy Spirit, Saint Patrick, Orthodox Christians, Western Catholic, Holy Land, Pope Urban II

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The History of Christianity
By Colleen Messina

1     Have you ever seen a medieval tapestry? In one corner, knights on horseback might be fighting. In another section, there might be a peaceful monastery full of praying nuns. A lady might sit under a tree reading a book in the foreground. Pockets of people dot the hills as they chat about their medieval problems like the plague and how many baths were safe. The story of Christianity is like a tapestry. It has many colorful threads of crusading and contemplation, and it is full of surprising details!
2     Christianity started over two thousand years ago with the birth of Jesus Christ. He preached a message about the Kingdom of God. According to the Bible, he went all through Judea, performing many miracles and healing the sick. He was thought of as a rebel by the Roman authorities, who eventually crucified him. After his death, it is believed that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Jesus' message became the cornerstone of Christianity.
3     Jesus' closest students, called the disciples, began to travel and tell people about his teachings. The disciples and other apostles set up many churches throughout the Mediterranean, and Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire. The Romans did not like this one bit! Many Christians were brutally executed for their beliefs. Christians expected that Jesus would return to help them. After a while, many realized that Jesus wasn't coming right away. In the meantime, they decided to work to create the Kingdom of God on Earth.
4     Christianity splintered into different groups. Most Christians believed that God is expressed as a trinity of the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit, but they disagreed about other details of their beliefs. A saint named Saint Patrick used the shamrock with its three equal leaves as a symbol of the Trinity. Christians didn't agree on a statement of belief, called a creed, until 390 A.D. This statement is called the Apostle's Creed.

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