Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life, teachings, and miracles of Jesus of Nazareth, known by Christians as the Christ, or "Messiah", who is the focal point of the Christian faiths. It is the world's largest religion, with over 2.4 billion followers, or 33% of the global population, known as Christians. Christians make up a majority of the population in about two-thirds of the countries and territories in the world. They believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of humanity whose coming as the Messiah (the Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament. Christianity has played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization. Christianity grew out of Judaism and began as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the mid-1st century. Originating in the Roman province of Judea, it quickly spread to Syria, Europe, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Transcaucasia, Egypt, Ethiopia and the Indian subcontinent, and by the end of the 4th century had become the official state church of the Roman Empire. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity spread to the Americas, Oceania, sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world through missionary work and colonization. Christian theology is summarized in creeds such as the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed. These professions of faith state that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, descended into hell, and rose from the dead, in order to grant eternal life to those who believe in him and trust in him for the remission of their sins.
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