The Culture of Religion
Since times immemorial Christianity has always been the religion that proved to outgrow the others. This religion is termed as the oldest form of religion due to its vast base of followers; the religion has continued to expand into very many nations including those that once despised it. The fact that Christianity is the most recognized religion puts it in a better position which enables it to be widely integrated as an element in the society’s culture. This is because Christianity encourages its followers (Christians) “to do well to others as they would like them do unto them’ and this forms the primary basis for Christianity (Gill, 2001). It is therefore the duty of all Christians to strive in living well with fellow human beings in the society since the faith holds that all human beings are equal and they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Christianity forbids human beings to judge others as they believe that judgment is only passed by a supernatural being named God.
Since Christianity does not allow its followers to judge others, the society is therefore left to operate freely with each and every individual according to their own will. Christianity is believed to have begun as a sect of the already existing Jewish religion of the eastern Mediterranean in the middle of the 1st century (Mullin, 2008). The twelve apostles that Jesus (Christ) chose are considered to be the fathers of Christianity. Amongst the twelve disciples, Peter and Paul are considered the co-founders of this religion. The religion spread when these staunch Christians and true followers of Christ refused to betray their faith and therefore faced persecution. These persecutions were first recorded during the time when the Roman Empire was in power in the year 64. At this time both Peter and Paul of Tarsus, the founders of Christianity, were each martyred and a series of persecutions followed their suit under Emperor Decius and Diocletian. However these persecutions did not deter others from joining the faith, instead these events acted as a catalyst upon which even more people joined the religion and in 301 AD Armenia as a country recognized Christianity as its national religion (Coffey, 2000). With the subsequent fall of the Roman Empire the fad of Papacy emerged which was later visible through Pope Leo who instigated the rise of missionary activity. The aspect of Christianity was taken seriously when arianists advocated death penalty for those individuals who still practiced Paganism. At about this time Catholicism was rapidly growing among the Germanic peoples, Hungarians and the Baltic. After enjoying a great stay in power for such a long time, the Roman Catholics faced a threat that was not going to end soon. Some Christians began to get repulsive of some of the doctrine as preached by the Catholics, a good example being the doctrine of the “seven sacraments”. These rebels Martin Luther amongst them, decided to reform the Catholic Church by coming up with a protestant movement that attracted even a greater multitude of followers. Other rebels in support of the same idea included Zwingli and Calvin.
During the 4th century Christianity played a greater role in shaping the western civilization and therefore many countries, including those in the dark continent, started to embrace the faith altogether. However, the constant wrangles amongst the church led to the outbreak of religious violence throughout the continent of Europe so that even greater wars arose as a result. These wars included Thirty Years’ War and French Wars of Religion.
In general, the artifact of Christianity has undergone so much transformation that it has now become difficult to understand the differences that exist within the denominations. In this era Christianity has been significantly commercialized making it rather popular amongst people of all ages. For instance, in today’s churches, the society has influenced the way the sermons and dressings should look like so that the followers in the United States are dressed much different from their colleagues say in Africa. This difference in regions is believed to be the major cause of diversity facing Christianity.
Countries like Costa Rica, Denmark and England have national established churches. according to Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2009), Society Today. The religion is declining greatly despite the fact that members of the society have decided to drift away from the tradition bonds that once attached them to the church while others do the same out of the loss of interest in any particular religion. This phenomenon is greatly spread in Northern America.
In recent years the entire Christian fraternity met to discuss the major setback affecting the religion as a whole. As a result, issues which were targeted to revive the religion to its original roots and the congregation embarked on a mission to continue with the attraction of more and more citizens into the religion. The youth were the main target of this project as it was agreed that churches, irrespective of their denominations, were expected to include members of other churches in their programs. For instance, when the Roman Catholic established its first academic institution it allowed admission of students from different social and political backgrounds. This was explained by the fact that in the long run, they were Christians who followed the teachings of their master – Christ. Different churches came up with different theological institutions which offered religious studies to individuals who later taught others and the future generation, in that case, increased greatly. The holding of crusade campaigns in the society was also another form of attracting the future generation into the church. The churches, especially the Protestant ones, lifted the limits they had put on its dressing codes so that the emerging trends in clothing were now acceptable in the church (Putnam,2002). Step by step the aspect of Christianity has been incorporated into the culture of the society so that without a clear and deep insight into it an individual might not notice any difference between the societal expectations from those advocated by Christianity as a religion. In countries like England and Switzerland Christianity is the main form of religion that is widely accepted by the country and despite the difference in settings in the social background of individual members of the society, Christianity has continued to include all people of the society irrespective of their race or sex.