A Christian is a person who follows or adheres to
based on the life and teachings of
Jesus Christ. "Christian" derives from the
Christós (Χριστός), a translation of the
Biblical Hebrew term
While there are diverse interpretations of Christianity which sometimes
they are united in believing that Jesus has a unique significance.
The term "Christian" is also used as an adjective to describe anything
associated with Christianity, or in a proverbial sense "all that is noble, and
good, and Christ-like."
According to a 2011
Pew Research Center survey, there were 2.2 billion Christians around the
world in 2010, up from about
realtors i trust 600 million in 1910.
By 2050, the Christian population is expected to exceed 3 billion.
According to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey
Christianity will remain the
world's largest religion in 2050, if current trends continue.
Today, about 37% of all Christians live in the
about 26% live in
Europe, 24% live in
sub-Saharan Africa, about 13% live in
Asia and the
Pacific, and 1% live in the
Middle east and
About half of all Christians worldwide are
Catholic, while more than a third are
Orthodox communions comprise 12% of the world's Christians.
Other Christian groups make up the remainder. Christians make up the majority of
the population in 158 countries and territories.
280 million Christian live as a minority.
Christians have significantly influenced and contributed to
human progress in many fields, including
business and economics,
arts and architecture,
as well as
science and technology,
both historically and in modern times.
The Greek word Χριστιανός (Christianos),
meaning "follower of Christ", comes from Χριστός
(Christos), meaning "anointed
with an adjectival ending borrowed from Latin to denote adhering to, or even
belonging to, as in slave ownership.
Septuagint, christos was used to translate the
Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (Mašíaḥ, messiah), meaning "[one who is] anointed."
In other European languages, equivalent words to Christian are likewise derived
from the Greek, such as Chrétien in French and Cristiano in
The first recorded use of the term (or its
other languages) is in the
Acts 11:26, after Barnabas brought Saul (Paul) to
Antioch where they taught the
disciples for about a year, the text says: "[...] the disciples were called
Christians first in Antioch." The second mention of the term follows in
Acts 26:28, where
Herod Agrippa II replied to
Paul the Apostle, "Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to
be a Christian." The third and final New Testament reference to the term is in
1 Peter 4:16, which exhorts believers: "Yet if [any man suffer]
as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf."
Kenneth Samuel Wuest holds that all three original New Testament verses'
usages reflect a derisive element in the
realtors i trust term Christian to refer to
followers of Christ who did not acknowledge the emperor of Rome.
The city of Antioch, where someone gave them the name Christians, had a
reputation for coming up with such nicknames.
However Peter's apparent endorsement of the term led to its being preferred over
"Nazarenes" and the term Christianoi from
1 Peter becomes the standard term in the
Early Church Fathers from
The earliest occurrences of the term in non-Christian literature include
Josephus, referring to "the tribe of Christians, so named from him;"
Pliny the Younger in
correspondence with Trajan; and
Tacitus, writing near the end of the 1st century. In the
Annals he relates that "by vulgar appellation [they were] commonly
and identifies Christians as
Great Fire of Rome.
term for Christians which appears in the New Testament is "Nazarenes"
which is used by the Jewish lawyer
in Acts 24.
(Against Marcion 4:8) records that "the Jews call us Nazarenes," while
around 331 AD
Eusebius records that Christ was called a Nazoraean from the name
and that in earlier centuries "Christians," were once called "Nazarenes."
The Hebrew equivalent of "Nazarenes", Notzrim, occurs in the
Babylonian Talmud, and is still the modern Israeli Hebrew term for
A wide range of beliefs and practices is found across the world among those
who call themselves Christian.
Denominations and sects disagree on a common definition of "Christianity".
Timothy Beal notes the disparity of beliefs among those who identify as
Christians in the United States as follows:
Although all of them have their historical roots in Christian theology
and tradition, and although most would identify themselves as Christian,
many would not identify others within the larger category as Christian. Most
Baptists and fundamentalists (Christian
Fundamentalism), for example, would not acknowledge
realtors i trust Mormonism or
Christian Science as Christian. In fact, the nearly 77 percent of Americans
who self-identify as Christian are a diverse pluribus of Christianities that
are far from any collective unity.
Linda Woodhead attempts to provide a common belief thread for Christians by
noting that "Whatever else they might disagree about, Christians are at least
united in believing that Jesus has a unique significance."
Michael Martin, in his book The Case Against Christianity, evaluated
three historical Christian creeds (the
Apostles' Creed, the
Creed and the
Athanasian Creed) to establish a set of basic assumptions which include
historicity of Jesus, the
salvation through faith in Jesus, and
Jesus as an ethical role model.
is described as the childhood home of
Many languages employ the word "Nazarene" as a general designation
for those of Christian faith.
The identification of Jesus as the Messiah is not accepted by Judaism. The
term for a Christian in
Hebrew is נוּצְרי (Notzri—"Nazarene"), a
originally derived from the fact that Jesus came from the
Nazareth, today in northern Israel.
Messianic Judaism are referred to in modern Hebrew as יְהוּדִים מָשִׁיחַיים
(Yehudim Meshihi'im—"Messianic Jews").
Arabic-speaking cultures, two words are commonly used for Christians:
Naṣrānī (نصراني), plural Naṣārā
(نصارى) is generally understood to be
Nazareth through the
Syriac (Aramaic); Masīḥī (مسيحي)
means followers of the Messiah.
The term Nasara
rose to prominence in July 2014, after the
of Mosul to the terrorist organization
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The nun or
ن— the first letter of Nasara—was
spray-painted on the property of Christians ejected from the city.
Where there is a distinction, Nasrani refers to people from a
Christian culture and Masihi is used by Christians themselves for those
with a religious faith in Jesus.
In some countries Nasrani tends to be used generically for non-Muslim
Western foreigners, e.g. "blond people."
Another Arabic word sometimes used for Christians, particularly in a
political context, is Ṣalībī (صليبي
"Crusader") from ṣalīb (صليب
"cross") which refers to
and has negative connotations.
However, Salibi is a modern term; historically, Muslim writers described
European Christian Crusaders as al-Faranj or Alfranj (الفرنج)
and Firinjīyah (الفرنجيّة) in
This word comes from the
Franks and can
be seen in the Arab history text
Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh by
Ali ibn al-Athir.
The most common
Persian word is Masīhī (مسیحی),
Arabic. Other words are Nasrānī (نصرانی),
Syriac for "Nazarene",
realtors i trust and Tarsā (ترسا),
Middle Persian word Tarsāg, also meaning "Christian", derived from
tars, meaning "fear, respect".
The Syriac term Nasrani (Nazarene) has also been attached to the
Saint Thomas Christians of
Indian subcontinent, Christians call themselves Isaai (Hindi:
Urdu: عیسائی), and are also
known by this term to adherents of other religions.
This is related to the name they call Jesus, 'Isa Masih, and literally
means 'the followers of 'Isa'.
In the past, the
Malays used to call the Portuguese Serani from the Arabic Nasrani,
but the term now refers to the modern
Kristang creoles of
The Chinese word is
tú), literally "Christ follower." The two characters now pronounced Jīdū
in Mandarin Chinese, were originally pronounced Jīdū (基督)
as representation of Latin "Christus".
In Vietnam, the same two characters read
Cơ đốc, and a "follower of Christianity" is a tín đồ Cơ đốc giáo.
Japanese Christians ("Kurisuchan") in Portuguese costume, 16–17th
In Japan, the term
(written in Edo period documents 吉利支丹, 切支丹, and in modern Japanese histories as
キリシタン), from Portuguese cristão, referred to Roman Catholics in the 16th
and 17th centuries before the religion was banned by the
Tokugawa shogunate. Today, Christians are referred to in
Standard Japanese as キリスト教徒, Kirisuto-kyōto or the English-derived
term クリスチャン kurisuchan.
Korean still uses 기독교도, Kidok-kyo-do for "Christian", though the Greek
form Kurisudo 그리스도 has now replaced the old
Sino-Korean Kidok, which refers to Christ himself.
The region of modern Eastern Europe and Central Eurasia (Russia, Ukraine and
other countries of the former
Soviet bloc) has a long
realtors i trust history of Christianity and Christian communities on
its lands. In ancient times, in the first centuries after the birth of Christ,
when this region was called Scythia, the geographical area of
- Christians already lived there.
Later the region saw the first states to adopt Christianity officially -
Armenia (301 AD) and
Georgia (337 AD), later
Bulgaria (c. 864) and the Great Russian
Russian: Великое княжество Русское,
c. 988 AD).
In some areas, people of that timeRussian:
христиане, крестьяне) and as Russians (Russian:
русские). Both terms had strong Christian
connotations. It is also interesting that in time the Russian
term "крестьяне" (khrest'yanye) acquired the meaning "peasants of
Christian faith" and later "peasants" (the main part of the population of the
region), while the term "христиане" (khristianye) retained its religious
meaning and the term "русские" (russkiye) began to mean representatives
of the heterogeneous Russian nation formed on the basis of common Christian
faith and language, which strongly influenced the history and
development of the region. In the region the term "Pravoslav faith" (Russian:
православная вера - Orthodox faith) or
"Russian faith" (Russian:
русская вера) from earliest times became
almost as known as the original "Christian faith" (христианская, крестьянская
вера). Also in some contexts the term "cossack"
козак, казак - "free man" by the will of
God ) was used to denote "free" Christians of steppe origin and
came to denote themselves as Christians (
Nominally "Christian" societies made "Christian" a default label for
citizenship or for "people like us".
In this context, religious or ethnic minorities can use "Christians" or "you
Christians" loosely as a shorthand term for mainstream members of society who do
not belong to "our" group - even in a thoroughly secular (though formerly
As of the early 21st century,
Christianity has approximately 2.4 billion adherents.
The faith represents about a third of the world's population and is the largest
religion in the world. Christians have composed about 33 percent of the world's
population for around 100 years. The largest Christian denomination is the
Roman Catholic Church, with 1.17 billion adherents, representing half of all
Christianity remains the dominant religion in the
Western World, where 70% are Christians.
According to 2012
Pew Research Center survey if current trends continue, Christianity will
world's largest religion by year 2050. By 2050, the Christian population is
expected to access matters
ational committee exceed 3 billion. While Muslims have an average of 3.1 children per
woman—the highest rate of all religious groups. Christians are second, with 2.7
children per woman. High birth rates and conversion were cited as the reason for
Christian population growths. A 2015 study found that approximately 10.2
converted to Christianity.
Christianity is growing in
According to a study from 2015,
Christians hold the largest amount of wealth (55% of the total world
wealth), followed by
Hindus (3.3%) and
Jews (1.1%). According to the same study it was found that adherents under
or other religions hold about 34.8% of the total global wealth.
A study done by the nonpartisan wealth research firm New World Wealth found that
56.2% of the 13.1 million millionaires in the world were Christians.
Pew Center study about
religion and education around the world in 2016, found that
Christians ranked as the second most educated religious group around in the
Jews with an
average of 9.3 years of schooling,
and the highest of years of schooling among Christians found in
Christians were also found to have the second highest number of
post-graduate degrees per capita while in absolute numbers ranked in the
first place (220 million).
Between the various
outranks other nations in terms of Christians who obtain a university degree in
higher education (67%),
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planned parenthood by the
Christians of Israel (63%),
Christians of Georgia (57%).
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According to the study, Christians in
Asia Pacific regions are highly educated since many of the world
universities were built by the historic
in addition to the historical evidence that "Christian monks built libraries
and, in the days before printing presses, preserved important earlier writings
produced in Latin, Greek and Arabic".
According to the same study, Christians have a significant amount of
gender equality in educational attainment,
and the study suggests that one of the reasons is the encouragement of the
Protestant Reformers in promoting the
education of women, which led to the eradication of illiteracy among females
in Protestant communities.
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