Jesus Christ, the first celebrity, born to a virgin, performed miracles and rose from the dead. The great healer, savior and son of God. With a following of approximately 2.2 billion people worldwide (including 1.2 billion Catholics), Christianity is arguably the largest religion in the world today.
According to Christian teachings God made the heavens and the Earth in 6 days and rested on the seventh day, or the Sabbath. Then God made the first humans, Adam and Eve. God flooded the Earth out of dissatisfaction with the human race, except for Noah and his family. Noah was instructed to build an ark with 2 of every animal for reproductive purposes. God presented Moses with the 10 Commandments on Mt. Sinai. The Catholic Church has played a prominent role in Western history influencing culture, art and philosophy.
Introduction to Catholicism
The sacred text of the christian church, both Catholic and Protestant is the Holy Bible. The Bible is made up of 2 parts; the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is a collection of religious writings by ancient Israelites. The Catholic Old Testament is made up of 46 books including Genesis, Isaiah, Jobs, Proverbs and Psalms. The New Testament is a compilation of Christian literature. The life of Jesus is the main part of the New Testament. There are 27 books in the New Testament, including the 4 Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,Acts, Peter and, Revelation.
In the Catholic church priests serve as a direct link between God and the people. He is responsible for sacred rituals, such as performing masses, offering the Eucharist (symbolic body and blood of Jesus Christ), hearing confessions, and counselling. All priest are men because Jesus’ apostles were all men and it is considered tradition. The lack of female priest has raised concerns in the past but as of now there is no change in sight. In the United States, priests must have a four-year university degree in Catholic philosophy plus an additional four to five years of graduate-level seminary formation in theology with a focus on Biblical research. A Master of Divinity is the most common degree. Priests take a vow of celibacy, meaning they are not allowed to get married or engage in sexual activity.
The Devil or Satan is a symbol of evil and temptation in humans. Sin is the act of violating God’s will. According to the Church those who sin without forgiveness will be condemned to hell, the place of eternal torture, run by the Satan. The Devil is responsible for leading people to temptation. Catholics believe that the devil posses people, to combat this priests perform exorcisms, or a process by which they attempt to extract the Devil within a human. Exorcism had been made popular in movies, especially horror films.
The leader of the Catholic church is called the Pope. St. Peter, the Bishop of Rome, was the first person to hold this position. The Pope is also the head of state of Vatican City, a city-state within...