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OverviewMission And Interfaith Relations

The Gospels relate that Jesus charged his disciples with spreading the Gospel, and the first generations took it throughout the Roman Empire. Gregory the Great sent a mission of Augustine of Canterbury to England in 597, and from there Boniface in the eighth century took missions into continental Europe. Christianity was still spreading east and north in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The crusading period from the late eleventh to the thirteenth century brought Christianity into contact with Islam in the Middle East and the first translation of the Koran was made in the West in the mid-twelfth century. With world explorations and discovery of the Americas in the sixteenth century it was carried to the New World. There the Roman Catholic tradition dominated Latin America and the colonies established by the Spanish and French in North America, with the future United States predominantly colonized by Protestant exiles from Northern Europe. The nineteenth century saw a somewhat "imperialist" spreading of the faith into the Far East and Africa and the Pacific. Much of this later missionary endeavor has been "denominational"; American Baptist missionaries entered Orthodox Russia after the fall of communism. Throughout the Middle Ages and early modern period the Jews had lived in Europe alongside the Christian communities. During World War II the Roman Catholic Church did not protest about the Holocaust, and Pope John Paul II eventually apologized for the silence of the Church. Interfaith dialogue in the early twenty-first century seeks to establish a basis of mutual respect on which adherents of different faiths may live.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Chimaeras to ClusterChristianity - Overview - Christianity And Secular Thought, Division, Ecumenism, Christianity And Modern Thought, Christianity And Secular Politics