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Introduction:

There are over 1 billion Christians in the world today, making it the world’s largest religion.

Christianity originated in the Middle East and is now over 2000 years old. 

Beliefs and practices:

Christians believe in one God and that God revealed Himself to mankind as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It is also believed that he has revealed Himself through the Bible and through his Son, Jesus Christ.

All Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God who lived on earth as a human being, was crucified as part of God’s plan for redeeming the sins of mankind, and then rose from the dead.  For Christians, Jesus is the saviour of the human race.

Holy Communion – also referred to as the Mass, the Eucharist and the Lord’s Supper – is a pivotal aspect of Christian worship.  Worshippers consume bread and wine as a token of the body and blood of Christ sacrificed for human sins.

Sub-divisions:

Christianity is divided into four principal denominations: Orthodox, Pentecostal, Protestant and Roman Catholic. 

The Christian in the Workplace

The standard working week and public holidays have been influenced by the traditions and religious observances of Christianity.

Scriptures:

The primary Christian scripture is the Bible, consisting of the old and new testaments.

Festivals

Different forms of Christianity celebrate different festivals and observe different holy days, but all forms observe (though might not celebrate it in the same way) the following six holy days:

• Christmas: 25 December.  Marks the birth of Jesus Christ.
• Epiphany: 6 January.  Marks the Journey of Three Kings to worship Jesus in Bethlehem.
• Good Friday:  The Friday before Easter (March/April, time varies), it commemorates Jesus’ passion (suffering) on the cross.
• Easter:  (March/April – time varies) Marks the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb.
• Ascension:  Forty days after Easter, the ascension of Christ to heaven is commemorated.
• Pentecost:  The seventh Sunday after Easter.  Marks the decent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, which began the work of the Church.

Dietary Requirements

Christian dietary habits tend to be culturally rather than religiously determined.  However, some African and South Asian Christians may avoid pork.  Alcohol is forbidden according to some Christian groups, although, drinking wine (in moderation) plays a symbolic role in Holy Communion.

Dress Code

There are no religious laws governing dress code.  Christians will wear clothes according to their cultural or national origin.  As a result, it would not be out of the ordinary to see a South Asian Christian woman wearing a shalwar kameez or sari.  Some conservative European Christians ascertain that women must wear hats in church.

Bereavement

No special requirement beyond normal compassionate leave.

Manchester Contacts:

There are a number of churches in Manchester. See a student guide to churches published by St Peters chaplaincy.

Manchester University Chrristian Union

Manchester Student Christian Movement