Christianity

Homosexuality

Homosexuality

The changing political and social status of LGBTQ Americans has forced Christian churches to choose whether to recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples and whether to ordain openly gay or lesbian clergy. Many LGBTQ Christians embrace both their sexual and gender identities and their religious commitments, but other Christians, claiming to uphold biblical values of a Christian understanding of gender, have formed advocacy groups opposing LGBTQ civic and religious rights.... Read more about Homosexuality

Interfaith Dialogue

Interfaith Dialogue

 The ever-increasing religious diversity of the United States necessitates that Christians across the country relate to and interact with people of other faith backgrounds. Though some Christians maintain that evangelization is the most urgent way to engage with non-Christians, many others seek to find common ground across religious lines, creating organizations and spaces designed to facilitate open dialogue.... Read more about Interfaith Dialogue

Race and Ethnicity

Race and Ethnicity

Many Christian churches in America carry violent legacies of settler colonialism and slavery, and yet many are filled with remarkable diversity and prophetic voices for justice. Across denominations, Christians create communities and traditions informed by their racial and ethnic identities, and many see their faith as an imperative to reckon with racism in the country today.

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Fighting for the Bible

Fighting for the BibleThe Bible is often used by Christians with different theological and political beliefs as textual support for their positions. Questions of interpretation have high stakes and include whether to take the Bible as literally true and eternally relevant; as a product of a particular historical context; or as a text that should be read allegorically.

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Festival of St. Anthony

Festival of St. Anthony

Every August, more than 100,000 people go to the North End of Boston to participate in the Festival of St. Anthony, which, like other festas in the United States, is organized by an Italian American mutual aid society. The festival is a celebration of cultural and religious heritage.

 

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Devotion to the Virgin Mary

Devotion to MaryGlobal devotion to Jesus’s mother, the Virgin Mary, includes shrines across the world. For American and particularly Hispanic Catholics, special reverence is often afforded to the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mary’s manifestation as an indigenous Madonna in Mexico, who is now considered Patroness of all the Americas.

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Baptism by Water and Spirit

Baptism by Water and SpiritModeled on Christ’s baptism by John the Baptist in the River Jordan, the rite of baptism involves the partial or full immersion of a person into water as a sign of their rebirth into Christianity. Some denominations baptize infants, while others require that the person has voluntarily chosen to follow Jesus first. 

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Birth of the Church

Birth of the Church

After Jesus’ resurrection, his followers traveled to spread his teachings. One prominent leader in the early church, The apostle Paul, made the radical shift to evangelize the Gentiles (non-Jews), which advanced the global spread of Christianity as more people joined the community of Christ-followers that is the church.


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The Protestant Movement

The Protestant Movement

Martin Luther was a 16th century German monk  who grew disillusioned with the authority of the Roman Catholic Church and insisted that salvation was entirely a gift of God’s grace. He began a process of Christian reform that eventually moved beyond Catholicism and became known as the Protestant Reformation. And that process of reform would continue in Protestant churches themselves, generating new practices, theologies, movements, and denominations. 

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Mission to the World

Mission to the World

For all of Christian history, missionaries have traveled across the world with the goal of extending the church to new peoples and lands. Following the routes of empire and trade, unique Christian traditions arose across the globe. Some served the interests of colonizing powers, while others, influenced by diverse indigenous cultures and identities, opposed imperialism.

 

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Credo: “I Believe. . .”

Credo: "I Believe..."

Statements of belief unite Christians in their articulation of shared commitments. While the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed are two of the oldest and most universal creeds of the church, the process of articulating what it means to give one’s heart to Christ continues in the present. 

 

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Orthodox Christian Churches

Orthodox Christian Churches

The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches are rooted in Greece, the Middle East, North Africa, and India.  These churches are theologically and liturgically distinct from those in the Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions, and have weathered centuries of challenge and change.

 

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The Modern Era

The Modern EraSince the 17th century, new disagreements among Christians have emerged over how to interpret the Bible, relate religious faith to scientific discoveries, and incorporate broader social changes into church structure. The Second Vatican Council in the 1960s led to Roman Catholic ecclesiastical change, while Protestant churches have offered diverse, sometimes ecumenical and sometimes conflicting, answers to these questions. In more recent years, the world has seen a resurgence of evangelical Christianity as well as the spectacular growth of Pentecostalism, particularly in Latin America, Africa, and the U.S.... Read more about The Modern Era

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