Christianity is one of the oldest religions in the world, dating back its origins to the first century AD. The religion originated in what is presently the land of Israel, and spread across the Europe and Northers Africa by the end of the fourth century BC. Today, it is the world’s largest religion with more than 2.5 billion followers. The religion has followers in every part of the world – on every continent and country. In fact, there are churches, even in Antarctica. Throughout history, Christianity has commanded a large share of power – both political and spiritual. As such, the church has always had the power to change lives for good in many ways. Let’s have a look at how the church has played a crucial role in the betterment of the society and bringing positive change in the lives of people.
Distribution of Power
For many millennia, the seat of power has always rested with the monarch of the land. This was true for civilizations across the world. When Christianity rose to prominence, it was able to reduce the power of the royalty significantly. This brought about a radical change in the society. Megalomaniac rulers, and power hungry kings could not engage in mindless expansion of their territory by way of waging wars. The consent of the Church on such matters was critical, and played a huge role in maintaining peace in these kingdoms.
A Center of Knowledge
The period of colonialism brought about a dramatic change in what the world knew about the far flung regions. Many of the colonies were ravaged by famine, diseases, poverty, and a general low standard of living. The Christian missionaries played a crucial role in integrating these populations into the mainstream society by bringing education, medicinal aid, and so on, to them. With the increasing rate of education and medical aid in these regions, a large section of the population were able to rise above poverty and help change their conditions. Mother Theresa exemplifies this mission of the Church the best.
Promotion of Ethics in Personal Life
Christianity has been a great force behind the strong ethical code among the people for many a century. Instilling a strong sense of moral code in the minds of people from childhood is not something that can be easily done by logic alone. The inspiration that there is a higher being controlling everything and watching every move, is a far more powerful motive for developing a personal ethical code. It is a fact that people are more prone to commit crimes when they know that they are not being watched. A strong belief that there is an omniscient power, who is always watching our actions, is one of the strongest motives for people not giving in to their primeval urges. For instance, social reformers such as William Wilberforce cite Christian beliefs such as “every man is equal before God”, as the main reason behind their opposition of slavery.
As the largest religion in the world, Christianity is able to pool up large scale resources with the help of its followers. Consequently, a number of global Christian organizations are involved in ending world hunger and absolute poverty. Organizations such as Samaritan’s Purse, Food for the Hungry and Compassion International, among others operate across hundreds of countries in their pursuit to end the suffering of billions. The only source of revenue to cover the cost of conducting such large scale operations, is charity. In other words, these organizations are able to fight poverty and world hunger on a global scale, thanks to the Christians, across the world, wholeheartedly donating money for the cause.
Launch the Information Age
During the era of colonization, the Christian missionaries not only set up educational institutions across the world, but in the process, also played a prominent role in spreading the western system of education everywhere. Consequently, people living thousands of miles away in the east now had the means to know and understand the achievements, inventions, discoveries, and all the forms of research being conducted all over the globe. This was the single biggest catalyst for the events that would eventually lead to the present information age. With most of the world united by a common denominator, English language, it is unbelievably easy to access all the research being conducted anywhere in the world and grow incrementally in all forms of sciences. The church continues to power this global machinery of information age even today by running schools, colleges, and universities, guiding the students to the global age of information. You can find more information about Christianity on TV and the internet with a subscription to a reliable internet service provider.
Commission of Art
Art is the language of the creative. Art in any form is a way of carrying forward a glimpse of the present into the future. Paintings, statues, busts, and so on, serve as a window into the magical world of the past, and the rich heritage of our society. The church commissioned a number of great artists the likes of Michelangelo, Bernini, Leonardo da Vinci, and others, to create some of the most treasured paintings, murals, sculptures, books, monuments, and more. These man-made treasures are the living proof of what humanity as a whole is capable of, is an inspiration for millions of artists today. Whether it is the Mona Lisa, paintings at the Sistine Chapel, or something else, it represents the remarkable potential of humanity, and serves as a reminder that greatness lies within us. Without the church, a large number of such works would have never materialized.
Home for the Homeless
In 2005, it was estimated that roughly 100 million people worldwide were homeless. Families, individual adults, children, and even the elderly fall into this category. What are generally considered the rejects of the society, have it quite tough to make the ends meet on a daily basis. Christian institutions across the globe offer these populations hope. There are orphanages, old age homes, homeless shelters, and other charity institutions run by churches that provide food, shelter and, in some cases, the basic amenities to lead a decent life. Although we still have a long way to go before we eradicate the social problems completely, without these institutions the situation would be far worse than it currently is.
A number of churches worldwide support relief measures in the war torn regions, and where the local communities are persecuted. Even during the time of World War II, the churches’ relief workers were tending to the wounded soldiers on both sides. Nurses, medical attendees, and relief workers of various churches have played a crucial role in the last century in ensuring humanitarian aid to these ravaged souls. These relief organizations are almost always present whenever a natural disaster such as a tsunami, earthquake, flood, or cyclone strikes, or during man-made disasters such as civil unrest, war, and even uncontrolled spread of AIDS/HIV takes place. It is estimated that about 4 million people are vulnerable every year to various such disasters, and these organizations, with financial backing from churches, are doing their best to extend assistance to these populations as and when they can.