Christianity is an [note 1] Abrahamic based on the life and teachings of religion , as described in the Jesus of Nazareth . Its adherents, known as New Testament , believe that Christians Jesus is the Christ merciful and Son of God , whose coming as the savior of all people was Messiah in the prophesied . Old Testament It is the  with over 2.4 billion followers or 31.5% of the world's population. worlds largest religion
Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a
sect of Jewish Christian . It soon also attracted Gentile Second Temple Judaism , which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, and the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the God-fearers , and also to Roman Empire , Ethiopia , and some parts of Transcaucasia . Asia converted to Christianity and decriminalized it via the Constantine the Great (313). The Edict of Milan (325) established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire. By 380, the Roman Empire designated First Council of Nicaea . Christianity as the state religion    The period of the  is sometimes referred to as the first seven ecumenical councils , the united Great Church of the full communion , Roman Catholic Church , and Eastern Orthodox Church , before their Oriental Orthodoxy . schisms
Oriental Orthodoxy split after the
(451) over Council of Chalcedon . The Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the differences in Christology (1054), especially over the East–West Schism . Similarly, in 1521, authority of the Pope split from the Catholic Church in the Protestants over Papal primacy, the Protestant Reformation , and other nature of salvation and ecclesiological disputes. theological 
(15th–17th century), Christianity was spread into the Age of Discovery , Americas , Oceania , and the rest of the world via sub-Saharan Africa and missionary work . colonization   
Christianity is the largest religion in the world, with 2.3 billion adherents, or 31.4% of the global population.
 Today, the  are the four largest branches of Christianity (1.3 billion), Catholic Church (920 million), the Protestantism (260 million) Eastern Orthodox Church and  (86 million). Oriental Orthodoxy
have played Christian ethics in the development of a prominent role , Western civilization     particularly around Europe during  and the late antiquity . Despite a Middle Ages in the West, declining trend in membership Christianity remains the dominant religion in the region, with more than 70% of the population identifying as Christian.  Nonetheless, the religion is growing in Africa and Asia, the world's most populous continents.  
In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers".
, "prepare the way of the Lord." citation needed] Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as 'The Way' ( Isaiah 40:3  According to [note 2] Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" ( : Greek Χριστιανός) was first used in reference to Jesus's in the city of disciples , meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. Antioch The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" (Greek:  Χριστιανισμός) was by , in around 100 AD.
Ignatius of Antioch
Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as 'The Way' (