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Christianity in the 21st century is characterized by the pursuit of Church unity and the continued resistance to secularization. Christian missions continue on a large scale but no longer originate predominantly from Europe which was the situation in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Catholic Church

Benedict XVI

With the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, the Church has so far seen largely a continuation of the policies of his predecessor, John Paul II, with some notable exceptions. Benedict decentralized beatifications and reverted the decision of his predecessor regarding papal elections. In 2007, he set a Church record by approving the beatification of 498 Spanish Martyrs. His first encyclical Deus Caritas Est discussed love and sex in continued opposition to several other views on sexuality.

Roman Catholic attempts to improve ecumenical relations with the Eastern Orthodox Churches have been complicated by disputes over both doctrine and the recent history of the Orthodox Eastern Catholic Churches, involving the return of expropriatiated properties of the Eastern Catholic Churches, which the Orthodox Church took over after World War II at the request of Josef Stalin.

Major lawsuits emerged in 2001 claiming that priests had sexually abused minors. (see

Catholic-Orthodox dialogue

In June 2004, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I's visit to Rome for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (29 June) afforded him the opportunity for another personal meeting with Pope John Paul II, for conversations with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and for taking part in the celebration for the feast day in St. Peter's Basilicamarker.

The Patriarch's partial participation in the Eucharistic liturgy at which the Pope presided followed the program of the past visits of Patriarch Dimitrios (1987) and Patriarch Bartholomew I himself: full participation in the Liturgy of the Word, joint proclamation by the Pope and by the Patriarch of the profession of faith according to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in Greek and as the conclusion, the final Blessing imparted by both the Pope and the Patriarch at the Altar of the Confessio. The Patriarch did not fully participate in the Liturgy of the Eucharist involving the consecration and distribution of the Eucharist itself.

In accordance with the Roman Catholic Church's practice of including the clause when reciting the Creed in Latin, but not when reciting the Creed in Greek, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have recited the Nicene Creed jointly with Patriarchs Demetrius I and Bartholomew I in Greek without the Filioque clause. The action of these Patriarchs in reciting the Creed together with the Popes has been strongly criticized by some elements of Eastern Orthodoxy, such as the Metropolitan of Kalavryta, Greece, in November 2008

The declaration of Ravenna in 2007 re-asserted these beliefs, and re-stated the notion that the bishop of Rome is indeed the protos, although future discussions are to be held on the concrete ecclesiological exercise of papal primacy.


There are churches established every day in Africa and Asia, which are not the part of Catholicism. These groups are largely Evangelical, Pentecostals, or Charismatics.

In February 2001, the United Methodist Church organized the Saint Brigid of Kildare Monastery. It is a Methodist-Benedictine residential monastery for women in Collegeville, Minnesotamarker.

Postmodern Christianity has influenced the emerging church movement. The emerging church movement seeks to revitalize the Christian church beyond what it sees as the confines of Christian fundamentalism so that it can effectively engage with people in contemporary society. Critics allege, however, that this movement's understanding of faith has led many of its adherents outside the bounds of traditional Christianity.

See also


Further reading

External links

History of Christianity: Modern Christianity
Preceded by:

Christianity in

the 20th century

Theology of

the Last Things

in Christianity

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