Christianity in Europe

Christianity in Europe
Christianity by Country
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Christianity is the largest religion in Europe. Christianity has been practiced in Europe since the 1st century, and a number of the Pauline Epistles were odireted at Christians living in Macedonia, as well as Rome.



Early history

Historians believe that St. Paul probably wrote his first epistle to the Christians of Thessaloniki, Macedonia around A.D. 52.[1] His Epistle to the Galatians, was perhaps written even earlier, between A.D. 48 and 50.[2] Other epistles written by Paul were directed to Christians living in Greece (1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Philemon, Phillipians, 2 Thessalonians) and Rome (Romans) between A.D. 50-70s.

In 301 AD, the Kingdom of Armenia became the first country to establish Christianity as its state religion. Soon after, the Roman Empire officially adopted Christianity in AD 380. During the Early Middle Ages, most of Europe underwent Christianisation, a process essentially complete with the Christianisation of Scandinavia in the High Middle Ages. The emergence of the notion of "Europe" or "Western World" is intimately connected with the idea of "Christendom", especially since Christianity in the Middle East was marginalized by the rise of Islam from the 7th century, a constellation that led to the Crusades, which although unsuccessful militarily were an important step in the emergence of a religious identity of Europe. At all times, traditions of folk religion existed largely independent from official denomination or dogmatic theology.

Great Schism and Protestant Reformation

The Great Schism of the 11th and Protestant Reformation of the 16th century were to tear apart "Christendom" into hostile factions, and following the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, atheism and agnosticism became widespread in Western Europe. 19th century Orientalism contributed to a certain popularity of Buddhism, and the 20th century brought increasing syncretism, New Age and various new religious movements divorcing spirituality from inherited traditions for many Europeans. The latest history brought increased secularisation, and religious pluralism.[3]



  1. ^ Johannes Schade (2006), The Encyclopedia of World Religions, Foreign Media Books, ISBN 978-1601360007 
  2. ^ Howard Clark Kee, Franklin W. Young (1957), Understanding the New Testament, Prentice Hall, ISBN 978-0139482663 
  3. ^ Henkel, Reinhard and Hans Knippenberg "The Changing Religious Landscape of Europe" edited by Knippenberg published by Het Spinhuis, Amsterdam 2005 ISBN 90-5589-248-3, pages 7-9
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ (Dutch) roman catholic church 4 million members out of a total Dutch population of 16,5 million

See also

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