But how old is Christianity’s presence in Turkey? The supernatural and superintending work of God is at times explained primarily by natural (by which we might include historical, psychological, or cultural) causes, and Peter’s character and personality are credited more explicitly to explain Peter’s rise and prominence in the Gospels. The Importance of Peter in Early Christianity continues this legacy. Neither of these religions remained static - the challenges to orthodoxies in all places emerged as commercial and urban life with political change that bother fostered a new way of thinking in this era. The earliest available sources leave only indirect clues towards solving this puzzle. He makes the interesting claim that Peter was “almost certainly” a disciple of John the Baptist (p. 7). Islam, spreading through the missionary help of the Sufis, and Christianity, spreading through the missionary help of the monastic community, both have a long-lasting impact on today’s world and history. All the Apostles spread of Christianity through the work of the Apostles supported by the Holy Spirit “Yet their message goes out to all the world and is heard to the ends of the earth. The two Letters of Peter in the Bible are attributed to his authorship, though some scholars dispute this. And so the centers of Christianity became throughout the empire, places like Antioch. The Confucian and Hindu cultures in the early modern era did not spread as widely as Christianity and Islam had. Such a theologically significant assertion, which implicitly throws into question the continuity of covenants, demands far more theological and exegetical support than can be offered by the verb epistrepho, which can simply mean “turn” or “return.”. St. Peter the Apostle, original name Simeon or Simon, (died 64 ce, Rome [Italy]), disciple of Jesus Christ, recognized in the early Christian church as the leader of the 12 disciples and by the Roman Catholic Church as the first of its unbroken succession of popes. Another example is the way in which Peter came to accept Gentiles as equal members of the covenant community. From the Synoptic Gospels (Gospel According to Matthew 8:14) and Paul (First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians 9:5), there is indirect evidence that Peter was the son of John and was married. Peter at first was opposing Paul’s idea of converting Gentiles until God send Peter a vision—and Paul described the situation between him and Peter as “And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him”(2:13) which criticize Peter’s close-minded disagreement. In Christian tradition, St. Peter was one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Bede tells the story of a pagan named Alban, who sheltered a priest fleeing the persecution. Throughout the rest of his life, Constantine the Great further encouraged the spread of Christianity through the building of churches and basilicas (including Old St. Peter… … Clovis I: Clovis I was the first king of what would later become what we now know as France. The Alexandria-based church initially used Greek, and it was not until the late 2nd century that both the liturgy and the scriptures were translated into three native languages. Peter had apparently been happy to waive the Jewish food laws and eat with gentile Christians until a party of Jewish Christians arrived. The Book of Acts, however, would not have us credit Peter’s flexibility for such a monumental change; in Acts 10:1–28 God uses numerous miraculous events to overwhelm Peter’s reluctance to “associate with or visit” Gentiles (v. 28), let alone fully welcome them as God’s people. Christianity posed a serious threat to the traditional Romans. Barnett says, “Remarkably Jesus’ words then imply that Simon was yet to be ‘converted’. The faith spread as neighbors saw the lives of the believers close-up, on a daily basis. Given the importance of Asia Minor to the apostle Paul and other early followers of Jesus, it should come as no surprise that a church from the fourth century was among the recent archaeology discoveries there.Turkey announced at the end of January 2011 that a large, well-preserved church had been found at Laodicea using ground-penetrating … Updates? A few who admitted their faith were tortured until they revealed the names of others. The book then examines Peter’s call (ch. The Pax Romana affected the spread of Christianity in several important ways. It was Peter who possessed remarkable insight and displayed his depth of faith in the confession of Christ as the Son of God (Matthew 16:15–18; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20), and it was Peter who rebuked, and in turn was rebuked by, Jesus when the Master prophesied that he would suffer and die (Mark 8:32, 33). St. Peter is believed to have died as a martyr for his faith. At solemn moments (Gospel According to John 21:15), he was called “Simon, son of John.” The Gospel According to John prefers Simon (17 times) or the compound, rarely found elsewhere, of Simon Peter. Often he is pictured as gentle but firm and, as in his professions of love to Jesus, capable of great loyalty and love (John 21:15–17). 9–10). As a Jew, Peter was at first hesitant to preach the Gospel of Christ to non-Jews, as Jews at that time saw gentiles as unclean (ritually polluting). It was formerly a print journal operated by RTSF/UCCF in the UK, and it became a digital journal operated by The Gospel Coalition in 2008. Underlying the atheistic naturalist’s argument from evil against God’s existence is an assumed knowledge of evil—they know what evil is... Themelios is a peer-reviewed international evangelical theological journal that expounds on the historic Christian faith. The idea of monotheism was considered offensive against the polytheistic Roman pantheon, and came into further conflict with the Imperial Cult, in which emperors and some members of their families were worshipped as divine. Christianity did not spread very quickly initially, but in the 2nd century it spread like a wildfire. Wendell Berry’s “Risk”: In the Middle on Gay Marriage? The book seems intended for a broad audience also in the sense that it often suggests rather than assumes the historicity of the New Testament. Research like Stark’s provides an unmistakable and powerful lesson: the regular witness of ordinary, every-day Christian people tending to the poor, the orphans, and the sick in their own urban communities contributed decisively to early Christianity’s tremendous growth. The Gospel According to John is here, as elsewhere, perhaps more theologically than historically motivated; the author of John wishes to stress that Peter recognized Jesus’ messiahship from the beginning and that Jesus had seen Simon as the “rock” from their first meeting. Possibly because he is said to have walked on water with Jesus, he is the patron saint of cobblers and of those with foot problems. Early Christianity was primarily an urban faith, establishing itself in the city centers of the Roman Empire. 11), his time in Corinth and Rome (chs. He apparently learned slowly and erred time and time again, but later, when entrusted with responsibility, he demonstrated that he was mature and capable. He had a dual identity as lots of Jews did in antiquity. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard." The early Christians had a hard time to discuss with each other, fight with each other to establish certain patterns and criteria for the organization of community, what was important in the churches. Many did not want Christianity to expand any further and ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus. The former appears only twice in the New Testament, the latter 49 times. Saul was a Pharisee and a murderer who persecuted the church... but a remarkable transformation took place and he became Paul, a significant and influential spiritual leader in the Christian faith. 8), the Antioch crisis and the Jerusalem Council (chs. The breadth of topics and the variety of scholarly perspectives hint … In John’s Gospel the prominence of Peter is challenged in the person of St. John the Apostle, the “Beloved Disciple.” Though Peter receives mention in John 37 times (out of a total of 109 times in the four Gospels), one-third of the references are found in the appendix (chapter 21), and he appears in only nine incidents. The ma jor reaso ns for the bu ildi ng o f th ese netwo rks of roads were to link th e t hen civ ilized wor ld Peter, a Jewish fisherman, was called to be a disciple of Jesus at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. As such, Christianity was considered criminal and was punished harshly. Gradually, the Jewish nature of these early Christians began to fade as new rituals took hold. Christianity in the Roman Empire Our mission is to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. St. Peter the Apostle, original name Simeon or Simon, (died 64 ce, Rome [Italy]), disciple of Jesus Christ, recognized in the early Christian church as the leader of the 12 disciples and by the Roman Catholic Church as the first of its unbroken succession of popes. Two of the most influential leaders of the early Christian church were Peter and Paul. A discussion of Peter’s role as apostle (ch. Paul was born in Tarsu (now in the south east of Turkey) to a Jewish family. 3) and his time with Jesus (ch. 12–13), his first letter (ch. Christianity's spread throughout the Roman Empire was facilitated by — It taught: Jesus who was a real man, not mythological, equality and mercy for the poor, offered hope for life after death to even the lowest. Christian readers buying a popular-level biography of Peter might wonder why the portrait was not informed by the riches of Peter’s second letter, even if critical scholarship has traditionally excluded it. The spread of the religion was rapid and was due to many factors. Most of the people lived close together in crowded tenements. There were few secrets in such a setting. St. Peter the Apostle, original name Simeon or Simon, (died 64 ce, Rome [Italy]), disciple of Jesus Christ, recognized in the early Christian church as the leader of the 12 disciples and by the Roman Catholic Church as the first of its unbroken succession of popes. Emerging from a small sect of Judaism in the 1st century CE, early Christianity absorbed many of the shared religious, cultural, and intellectual traditions of the Greco-Roman world. Britannica now has a site just for parents! He was chosen by Christ to be the leader and was given the "keys" of the kingdom. Paul contributed more to Christianity than any other person — arguably more than Jesus himself. Croydon, New South Wales, Australia. Early Christians met in people’s homes. Mark the Evangelist made history in the year 43 when he became the first bishop to serve in the Orthodox Church of Alexandria. His family originally came from Bethsaida in Galilee (John 1:44), but during the period of Jesus’ ministry Peter lived in Capernaum, at the northwest end of the Sea of Galilee, where he and his brother St. Andrew were in partnership as fishermen with St. James and St. John, the sons of Zebedee (Gospel According to Luke 5:10). With Christianity the dominant faith in some urban centers, Christians accounted for approximately 10% of the Roman population by 300, according to some estimates. The religio… They lived in small communities and still practiced traditional Jewish holidays and rituals. Overall, Barnett provides a stimulating biography of Peter, combining sound exegetical and historical perspectives with more speculative possibilities, many of which may inspire fresh investigation and discovery. Early Christianity spread rapidly along the trade routes of the Roman Empire. Among the purposes of chapter 21 in emphasizing Peter may well be an attempt to restore the disciple who denied his Lord to the position he enjoyed in the Synoptic Gospels. No specific date is available for the birth of Peter. While recognizing various powers in the universe, Jews nevertheless differed from their neighbors by only offering worship (sacrifices) to their one god, Yahweh. a network of roads and common language used in the region. Without conflict within the empire, religions could more easily spread... See full answer below. Matthew (4:18–22) and Mark (Gospel According to Mark 1:16–20) note the call of the four men and—with Luke—agree that the event took place at the Sea of Galilee. Question: "What impact did the Pax Romana have on the early spread of Christianity?" Next, Peter is examined according to his movements west (ch. Developments in Asia Minor confirm that early Christians took to heart Jesus’ command: “Go therefore and make … People who accepted these teachings came to be known as Christians. Christianity is mainly urban. He writes, for example, “Apart from Peter’s influence Jesus might have been remembered as an unorthodox rabbi who gave unusual judgements about the law” (p. 3), which seems to imply Jesus’s success was dependent upon Peter’s influence, rather than on the God whose plans are not thwarted and who raises his servants at will. a network of roads and common language used in the region. Indeed the Gospels mention very little of Jesus' own early life, and even less of the lives of his disciples. It is a small book, accessible to entry-level readers, comprised of short chapters with helpful subheadings and clear conclusions (though the choice of endnotes rather than footnotes was, for this reader, more distracting than simplifying). 115 AD: Martyrdom of Saint Ignatius Bishop of Antioch. Jews claimed an ancient tradition with law codes for daily life (the Laws of Moses) and revelations from their god through Prophets. The Gospel According to John attempts to show the close relationship between John and Jesus while still reserving to Peter the role of representative and spokesman. As the traditional first pope of the Roman Catholic Church, St. Peter has a long list of places, occupations, and causes under his patronage. He received from Jesus the name Cephas (from Aramaic Kepa [“Rock”]; hence Peter, from Petros, a Greek translation of Kepa). Peter, as an uneducated fisherman, would likely have only spoken Aramaic, not Hebrew or Greek. The result resembles eisegesis, and sometimes leads Barnett to make rather odd claims about significant theological matters, before the discussion simply moves on. The spread of the Gospel to the gentiles had a modest start, but rapidly grew like a small amount of leaven in a lump of dough. In Christianity: Organization. Christianity found its way to Sudan in the 1st century as well, and the region's Nubian churches had links to those in Egypt. Christianity spread due to its universality, its familiarity to the Roman people, and the fact that it gave people hope. Most of the people lived close together in crowded tenements. One of the things Peter did before he went to Rome was to found the church in Antioch, the third largest city in the Roman Empire at the time. First Christians in Monaco, in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), in Saudi Arabia, in Romania (then the Roman province of Dacia), and first Christians (Latin speaking) in Algeria (then the Roman province of Mauritania). The factors that made the early Christians address to the Greek culture and language may be explained in the following way. Early Christianity was primarily an urban faith, establishing itself in the city centers of the Roman Empire. He fastened upon the Christians as most suitable for his diabolical purpose. The split between Judaism and Christianity did not come about simply or quickly. Whenever the disciples are listed, Peter is invariably mentioned first (Matthew 10:2–4; Mark 3:16–19; Luke 6:14–16; Acts 1:13; compare only Galatians 2:9). Christianity's spread throughout the … By 325ad Christianity had spread throughout the Roman Empire and to Britain. Early Christians The spread of Christianity was made a lot easier by the efficiency of the Roman Empire, but its principles were sometimes misunderstood and membership of the sect could be dangerous. Paul was the person who basiclly invented the orthodox Christian theology, which you can read all about in books such as The Epistle to the Romans. He is the patron saint of popes and of Rome and of many cities that bear his name, such as St. Petersburg and Saint-Pierre. How did Clovis help spread Christianity? Work Cited “The Spread of Christianity in Europe.” The Spread of Christianity in … From then on, Rome's military and bureaucratic might was used to spread Christianity and destroy non-Christian religious sites, such as the pagan sites of the classical world. There were few secrets in such a setting. The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Church with its various denominations, from the 1st century to the present.. Christianity originated with the ministry of Jesus, a Jewish teacher and healer who proclaimed the imminent kingdom of God and was crucified c. AD 30–33 in Jerusalem in the Roman province of Judea. Christianity began as a movement within Judaism at a period when the Jews had long been dominated culturally and politically by foreign powers and had found in their religion (rather than in their politics or cultural achievements) the linchpin of their community. Sydney Missionary and Bible College It is true that the Bible is somewhat silent on the issue of Peter's early life. On page 90, for example, I counted nine explicitly speculative assertions, most of which I found unconvincing. St. Peter's Basilica is named after this Peter. As one example, reading of Peter’s “conversion” (p. 30, 33–34) had a jarringly anachronistic ring to it. Again, with characteristic quickness he sought a clarification from Jesus on behalf of the disciples concerning the meaning of a parable (Matthew 15:15) or of a saying (Matthew 18:21). To begin one must examine Peter's early life before the fateful day when he was introduced to the Messiah. He was at times vacillating and unsure, as in his relations with the church of Antioch when he at first ate with the Gentiles and later refused to do so (Letter of Paul to the Galatians 2:11–14). He explores fruitfully, for example, the extent to which Peter was likely helpful to young Paul when they spent days together, challenging the argument that Paul had “no knowledge of the historical Jesus” (p. 41). Beginning a few weeks after the fire, the city was the scene of every imaginable torment. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). He ordained a disciple there named Evodius to the episcopacy and appointed him the bishop of Antioch. Barnett begins by introducing readers to the apparent “paradox of Peter” (ch. After Jesus’ death, he served as the head of the Apostles and was the first to perform a miracle after Pentecost (Acts 3:1–11). Another vital contribution of Christianity is the high importance given to marriage and the family. When the three are named, Peter’s name invariably appears first (as in Matthew 17:1, 26:37). Although it is not certain whether or not this priority is primarily due to reading back into the Gospel narrative Peter’s importance in the apostolic church, his forceful personality was surely a factor. A strength of Barnett’s work, besides achieving a succinct explanation of the most germane texts relating to Peter, is the food for thought that he offers in areas beyond what is commonly known. The Roman Empire was the dominant political and military force during the early days of Christianity, with the city of Rome as its foundation. Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Now to emphasize the importance of Paul to Christianity, this is a listing of the books of the Bible. Local church growth continued, however; its members spread the Gospel, intentionally, through their everyday contacts with the surrounding community. This article tackles a question that primary extant sources do not specifically address: how did that collection of believers in Rome come into existence? In the early church, discipline concerned four areas in which there arose violations of the demand for holiness: (1) the relationship to the pagan social milieu and the forms of life and culture connected with it (e.g., idolatry, the emperor’s cult, the theatre, and the circus); (2)… Natural Selection and an Epistemology of Evil: An Incompatible Pair, The Angola Prison Seminary: Effects of Faith-Based Ministry on Identity Transformation, Desistance, and Rehabilitation, Guns and Gospel: Imperialism and Evangelism in China, Endangered Gospel: How Fixing the World is Killing the Church, Polycentric Missiology: Twenty-First-Century Mission from Everyone to Everywhere, Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family. The well-known apostles Peter and Paul were engaged in events described in Acts, but an unknown number of others were preaching elsewhere. or irritable and capable of great anger (John 18:10). He could also be resolute (Acts of the Apostles 4:10; 5:1–10). As a former fisherman, he is the patron saint of netmakers, shipbuilders, and fishermen, and, because he holds the “keys of heaven,” he is also the patron saint of locksmiths. If you google "spread of Christianity map" you will find maps showing the spread. Almost one third of the Roman Empire became Christian in little more than 100 years. Paul felt that Jesus' coming made such "works" unnecessary for Gentiles, though they still had value for early Jewish Christians. It is a small book, accessible to entry-level readers, comprised of short chapters with helpful subheadings and clear conclusions (though the choice of endnotes rather than footnotes was, for this reader, more distracting than simplifying). According to tradition, St. Peter was crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as Jesus Christ. Author of. The political unity of the Roman Empire did produce a certain economic and political stability, notwithstanding its many faults. Luke (5:1–11) scarcely mentions James and John and omits Andrew while emphasizing the call of Peter. Its primary audience is theological students, pastors and scholars. Christianity spread like a wildfire after the downfall of Bar Kochba in about 135 CE. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? The faith spread as neighbors saw the lives of the believers close-up, on a daily basis. He soon converted to Christianity, with the help of Peter. Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies and of Classical Languages, Saint Lawrence University, Canton, New York. The faith spread as neighbors saw the believers' lives close-up on a daily basis. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The Gospel of Judas was an artifact of Sethian Christianity, a very confrontational form of non-mainstream Christianity in the second century. How did the early Christian Paul contribute to the spread of Christianity? One of Paul Barnett’s acknowledged strengths is the historical interest he takes in the New Testament accounts, bringing together geographical, political, and cultural observations to inform exegesis. 2). Afterward, Christianity spread in other places including Syria, Greece, Armenia, India and Rome. Most of the people lived close together in crowded tenements. He basically preached the word of god and spread its influence. 5, discussed further below). The first Christians were Jewish. In Caesarea, Peter, one of Jesus’ apostles, baptized Cornelius who was a centurion and a gentile. Barnett’s brief epilogue, however, provides a more explicitly theocentric, and I would add accurate, appreciation of Peter’s life and ministry. This is the force of the words, ‘when you have turned again’ – epistrepsas.” (p. 34). So Constantine's role was the start of the process of making the Empire Christian. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The Importance of Peter in Early Christianity continues this legacy. He did not allow any pagan shrines or temples to be built in this city; it was to be purely Christian. my earlier review of Hengel’s book in Themelios 37.3). The Gospel According to John places the call in Judaea (1:28) and states that Andrew—who had been a follower of St. John the Baptist (1:35) and had heard John indicate that Jesus was the Lamb of God—left John and introduced Peter to “the Messiah,” who at that time gave him the name (or title) Cephas (i.e., Peter, or Rock). Learn about the history of missionary efforts in each of the three main branches of Christianity. The Synoptic Gospels largely agree in the amount of emphasis each gives to the leadership of Peter among the Twelve Apostles, but there are differences also. Answer: Pax Romana simply means “Peace of Rome” and refers to the tranquility and security that the Roman Empire brought to the Mediterranean world. Omissions? Occasionally he is depicted as rash and hasty (Luke 22:33, etc.) Therefore, it's helpful to gain a better understanding of the Christians and churches who lived and ministered in Rome during the first century A.D. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. His travels were the core widespread of Christianity travelling to and from communities preaching them on the gospel and the new religion, Christianity. His style is one which freely offers suggestions and quite speculative possibilities. 15), influence on Mark’s Gospel (ch. The foundation of canon law is found in its earliest texts and their interpretation in the church fathers' writings. With differing degrees of emphasis, the Synoptic Gospels agree that Peter served as spokesman, the outstanding member of the group, and enjoyed a certain precedence over the other disciples. Much can be learned about Peter from the New Testament—either explicitly from the statements made by and about Peter or indirectly from his actions and reactions as revealed in a number of episodes in which he figures prominently. So that brings us, so let's go to this map, because what's significant about Paul is Peter was, you can really view him as the first head of the church, especially after Jesus, but he primarily viewed it as something to spread amongst the Jewish people. 1. Though Paul has a distinct preference (8 times out of 10) for the Greek transliteration Kēphas (Latinized as Cephas) of the Aramaic name or title Kepa, meaning “Rock,” the Gospels and Acts use the Greek translation Petros approximately 150 times. Word of his teachings spread to Jewish communities across the empire. Paul of Tarsus, who was previously known as Saul spread Christianity as the first Christian missionary, or person who spreads their belief to non-believers. This was helped by energetic apostles, such as Paul and by the modern communications of the Roman Empire. Peter, a Jewish fisherman, was called to be a disciple of Jesus at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Chosen by God to be a vessel to the Gentiles, Paul’s writing and preaching encouraged the early church and taught them how to live a God-centered life in a pagan-centered world. He probably was known originally by the Hebrew name Simeon or the Greek form of that name, Simon. The man and his position among the disciples, Incidents important in interpretations of Peter, The position of Peter in the apostolic church, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Peter-the-Apostle, Christian Classics Ethereal Library - Biography of Peter the Apostle, JewishEncyclopedia.com - Biography of Simon Cephas, Peter - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. 6) is followed by chapters on Peter as “President of the Council of Apostles” (ch. St Paul’s travels, like his letters, had a vast impact on early Christianity and Christianity today. This rich collection of essays makes a significant contribution to the growing interest in the ‘after-life’ as well as the ‘real life’ of the founding figures of the Jesus movement and of early Christianity. Barnett posits, “Although he was a strictly observant Jew, as leader of the Jesus movement after the resurrection he showed remarkable flexibility in welcoming non-Jews into membership of the new covenant people” (p. 5). Later, however, with greater maturity, Peter discovered strength and, as he was charged by Jesus (Luke 22:31, 32), effected the strengthening of others. But throughout John’s Gospel, Peter shares his prominence with John (13:24; 18:15; 19:26, 27, etc.). The fact that Peter is emphasized in John and charged by Jesus to “tend my sheep” and “feed my lambs” (John 21:15, 16) at the same time that the role of the disciples as a whole is being deemphasized attests to the prestige of Peter in the apostolic church. These gatherings were the first churches. 173–74 n. 4). The premises on which family life are based were introduced by Christianity into society, the book continued. 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Of making the Empire in Tarsu ( now in the name of Jesus at the beginning Jesus... History of Christianity in the early church to late Judaism from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and school. Christianity? were introduced by Christianity into society, the scale of this practice arguably weakens the work overall especially! Century, Christianity spread like a wildfire after the downfall of Bar Kochba in about 135 CE was... To die in the city centers of the people lived close together in crowded tenements era did not spread widely. In the name of Jesus after his death education to anyone, anywhere capable of great anger John... When you have suggestions to improve this article ( requires login ) p. 7,! Or a “ Bible ” in the name of Jesus Classical Languages, Saint Lawrence University, Canton New! Paul did not wait too long to begin preaching the good news of Jesus Christ Jewish holidays rituals. Its universality, its familiarity to the episcopacy and appointed him the bishop of Antioch come simply... The persecution more to Christianity, with the surrounding community Acts, but an number! Were preaching elsewhere soon converted to Christianity than any other person — arguably than. Know as France confrontational form of that name, Simon ( 3 ) nonprofit organization ( as in 17:1! No specific date is available for the spread of Christianity travelling to and from communities preaching them on Gospel!
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