Christianity in Esquarium
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Christianity, a monotheistic belief system based on ministry of Iesus, is the most popular religion in Esquarium, with more than 1 billion followers. An Abrahamic religion stemming from Judaism, Christianity teaches that Iesus is the Son of God whose death absolves the original sin of humanity, granting them the possibility to eternal life to his followers. The name Christianity stems from Christos, meaning "the anointed one" in Hellenic, symbolising Iesus' role as saviour of humanity.
Christianity first originated as a sect of Judaism in the first century AD, rejecting the notion of Jews as the chosen people in favour of universal salvation of all mankind. Believed to be founded in what is now Hunawiyah in Nautasia, Christianity rapidly expanded following the Crucifixion of Iesus through proselytism of the apostles, gaining large followings in Conitia and elsewhere across the globe. Christianity is believed to be among the first religions to have put down its tenets and teachings in writing in the form of Bible, which is common attributed to its rapid spread compared with other religions at the time.
In Ecumenical Christianity, Christianity in Esquarium comprises the ecumenical council, a religious congregation of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts that discusses and regulates matters of Christian theology and faith in general. Headed by the Magister (sometimes known as Epistati), ecumenical Christianity is divided into multiple Patriarchates, each led by a Patriarch authorised to determine on local theological and ecclesiastical affairs. However, since Christianity became a global religion, the position of Magister is often vacant due to lack of agreement between Patriarchs. As such, in practice the Christian faith is divided into multiple smaller churches, either as Patriarchates for the more centralised ones, or smaller local churches most commonly seen among Protestants.
Scholars generally agree that the birthplace of Christ took place in Lombardia, a Velkian province of the Latin Republic in what is modern-day Luziyca. The life of Iesus itself is well-documented in the Biblical Gospels of the New Testament, which centre on his missionary work as one of the reformers of the then-dwindling Jewish faith. Claiming himself to be the Son of God who came to reform the belief system, the teaching of Iesus soon led to his conflict with the established Jewish religious authority, ultimately leading to his execution by crucifixion. According to Christian teaching, Iesus was resurrected three days after being buried, absolving humanity of its original sin before ascending to Heaven neato rejoin the reign of God the Father.
Following his execution, the followers of Iesus were banished from the area. In accordance with Christ's Great Commission, in which Iesus instructed that his teachings be spread to "all nations", the most prominent believers, called the apostles, soon began missionary works; these occurred in the surrounding Luziycan countryside and resting points of trade routes along the Sprska Sea and the Mercorian Ocean, with the religion eventually reaching Conitia. The first mass conversion to Christianity is believed to have occurred in AD 53 in Oteki by Saint Luther, one of the apostles, shortly followed by Nicaea near Hierapolis by Saint Peter, both prominent figures in early Christianity. In particular, St. Peter is often considered to be the first Magister of Christianity, a title he claimed to be granted by revelation from Iesus to continue his unfinished missionary work.
Both the Jews in Luziyca and the Latins of the Latin Republic feared the new sect to be an anti-government cult; while the Luziycan Jews were increasingly marginalized and forced to migrate to modern-day West Cedarbrook, the Latins in particular were opposed to the movement, and violently persecuted its adherents. However, while the scriptures described the martyrdoms of early Church fathers such as Stephen and James, son of Zebedee, the Latin Senate was paralyzed by disagreement in the matter of dealing with the growing movement. This repression served only to catalyze the movement, and, gathering a sizable following, St. Peter and his followers laid siege to the city of Hierapolis, capturing it in AD 65. Claiming it to be the Holy Land, he established the Patriarchate of Hierapolis as primus inter pares, a tradition that has since been observed by the many Christians. Though intense persecution in Latin lands continued, the accession of the pro-Christian Augustus to the position of tribunus plebis in AD 170 saw its softening and eventual legalization.
The Velkian and Nordano-Conitian branches of Christianity began to develop doctrinal differences soon after. While Lombardian and Luziycan Christianity was primarily influenced by First Temple Judaism as well as Zoroastrianism both administratively and liturgically, Conitian Christianity, monastic in nature, soon began to incorporate aspects of Latin paganism. This saw the inclusion of many of the Latin deities into the communion of saints as well as the idea that Iesus was a theophany of Ianus, the son of Saturn. The East-West divide would grow as Christianity spread to the Germanics in Nordania as well as the Swedes and Slavs in Velkia, with the Papacy in Bethlehem and the Hierapolis Ecumenical Council constantly butting heads on administrative and liturgical matters. This would result in the Great Schism of XXX, in which the heads both churches would excommunicate each other.
In Ecumenical Christianity, the world is divided into multiple Patriarchates, each led by a Patriarch. Formed by a collection of smaller, local churches, the Patriarch is usually elected among their clergy. For non-ecumenical Christianity, most notable of which Protestants, Patriarchate and the ecumenical council is usually not recognised as the ultimate religious authority.
- Patriarchate of Hierapolis oversees the city-state of Hierapolis and its surrounding area. Although among the smallest patriarchates in terms of adherents and area, it is often considered the first among equals in Ecumenical Christianity, where it serves as the steward of the Holy Land.
- Patriarchate of Bethlehem oversees the city of Bethlehem and most of southern Velkia (i.e. excluding Oteki, northern Namor, and areas to the north). The Patriarch of Bethlehem is seen as the head of the one true church for Apostolic Catholicism.
- Patriarchate of Gusev oversees the city of Kusef, as well as the rest of Oteki, northern Namor, and the northern regions of Velkia. It is seen as an important patriarchate among Apostolic Catholics due to Oteki being the first region to adopt Christianity (in AD 53). It is considered by Apostolic Catholics to be the second most important patriarchate after Bethlehem. It is in full communion, and subservient to the Apostolic Patriarchate of Bethlehem.