A TIMELINE OF WORLD CHRISTIANITY
By Tim Lambert
The Early Church
c. 30 On the day of Pentecost Peter preaches a great sermon and about 3,000 people are added to the church
C 35 AD Saul is converted and changes his name to Paul
43 AD The Romans invade Britain
C 46-48 AD Paul and Barnabas sail to Cyprus and what is now Turkey
C. 48-51 AD Paul and Silas travel to Turkey and Greece
53-57 AD Paul makes a third journey to Turkey and Greece
64 The Emperor Nero persecutes Christians in Rome. (He blames them for a fire which devastated Rome).
C. 67 AD Paul is martyred.
125-202 Iranaeus Bishop of Lyons and a famous Christian writer lives
c.150-c.215 Clement of Alexandria the theologian lives
155 Polycarp is martyred
c. 160-220 Tertullian the great Christian writer lives
165 Justin Martyr the Christian apologist is martyred
c. 180 The first evidence of Christianity in England
c. 185-254 The great theologian Origen lives
200-258 Cyprian a theologian and bishop of Carthage in North Africa lives
202 Perpetua, a wealthy and educated woman is martyred
250 The Emperor Decius persecutes Christians
303 The Emperor Diocletian persecutes Christians
304 St Alban the first British Christian martyr is executed
313 The Emperor Constantine proclaims toleration for Christians
325 The Council of Nicaea defines the Trinity
c. 340-420 The Christian writer Jerome lives
347-407 The theologian John Chrysostom lives
381 The Council of Constantinople meets
391 The Emperor Theodosius makes Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire
354-430 Augustine of Hippo the great theologian lives. His writings have a great influence on the Church in the Middle Ages
431 The Council of Ephesus meets
410 AD Led by Alaric the Goths capture Rome
432 Patrick goes to Ireland
451 The Council of Chalcedon meets
476 AD The Western Roman Empire ends completely
The Church in the Middle Ages
496 Clovis king of the Franks (in France) converts to Christianity
529 Benedict founds the first monastery in western Europe at Monte Cassino, Italy.
563 Columba the Irish missionary sails to Scotland
597 Augustine lands in Kent and begins the work of converting the Anglo-Saxons of southern England to Christianity
c. 675-754 Boniface, an Englishmen lives. He is a missionary to the Germans
846 Boris I, King of Bulgaria converts to Christianity and his people follow
871 Alfred the Great become king of Wessex (Southern England)
910 The Cluniacs, an order of monks is founded at Cluny in France
960 Harald Bluetooth, King of Denmark converts to Christianity and his people follow
966 Mieszko I, King of Poland converts to Christianity and his people follow
988 Russia converts to Christianity
1088-1179 Hildegard the female theologian and writer lives
1008 Olof Stokonung, King of Sweden converts to Christianity and his people follow
A Saxon church in Chichester
1054 The Church splits into the eastern (Orthodox) part and the western (Catholic) part
1066 The Normans conquer England
1098 The Cistercians, an order of monks is founded
1175 Peter Waldo, a merchant of Lyons gives his wealth to the poor and begins preaching. His followers are called Waldensians. The Waldensian movement spreads to Italy, Germany, Austria and Poland despite persecution by the Catholic Church.
1182-1226 Francis of Assisi lives. In 1210 he founds the Franciscan friars. (Friars were like monks but instead of withdrawing from the world they went out to preach).
1215 King John seals the Magna Carta
1220 Dominic de Guzman founds the Dominican friars
1225-1275 Thomas Aquinas the famous theologian lives
1329-1384 John Wycliffe the English reformer lives. His followers are called Lollards.
1415 Jan Hus the Czech reformer is martyred but his followers continue his teachings. In 1420 a crusade is launched against the Hussites but it fails.
1439 The Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches are formally separated
1452-1498 The Italian reformer Girolamo Savonarola lives. He is martyred for his efforts.
1457 The Moravians are founded
1488 A crusade is launched against the Waldensians. It fails.
1492 Christopher Columbus sails across the Atlantic
The Church in the Modern Era
1517 Martin Luther begins the Reformation
1525 The Anabaptist movement is formed. Anabaptists are pacifists, they believe in separation of Church and state and adult baptism.
1526 William Tyndale translates the New Testament into English
1534 In England Henry VIII makes himself head of the Church of England.
1536 John Calvin publishes his work on theology Institutes
Whitby Abbey closed 1539
1541 John Knox begins the Reformation in Scotland
1543 Copernicus publishes his theory that the Earth orbits the Sun
1545 The Council of Trent begins the Catholic Counter-Reformation.
1546 Anne Askew is martyred.
1549 In England the first Book of Common Prayer is introduced
1555 The Peace of Augsburg. German Protestants are allowed to practice their faith.
1555-58 In England Queen Mary murders nearly 300 Protestants
1558 In England Queen Elizabeth re-establishes Protestantism
1572 The St Bartholomew's Day Massacre takes place in France. French Protestants are murdered.
1598 The Edict of Nantes. French Protestants are allowed to practice their faith.
1607 The English found Jamestown, Virginia the first permanent English colony in North America
1608 The first Baptist congregation is founded
1611 The King James Bible is published
1612-1672 Anne Bradstreet the Christian poet lives
1624-91 George Fox founder of the Society of Friends (Quakers) lives
1628-88 John Bunyan the great Christian writer lives
1666 The Great Fire of London
1662 In England the Act of Uniformity is passed. All clergy must use the Book of Common prayer. About 2,000 clergy resign in protest.
1673 In England the Test Act is passed. Catholics and Protestant dissenters are prevented from holding public office.
1689 In England an Act of Toleration allows non-conformists (Protestants who do not belong to the Church of England to have their own meetings and preachers
1698 The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge is founded
St Pauls Cathedral built 1675-1711
1703-91 John Wesley the founder of the Methodists lives
1715-1760 Anna Nitschmann, a leader of the German Moravian Movement lives
1703-58 Jonathan Edwards the great American preacher lives
1714-70 George Whitefield the great preacher lives
1738-42 Revival takes place in Wales led by Howell Harris (1714-73)
1739 John and Charles Wesley found the Methodists
1745-1833 Hannah More the Christian writer lives
1755-1831 Hannah Adams the Christian writer lives
Holy Trinity Church in Clapham built 1776
1780 The Industrial Revolution begins to transform life in Britain
1792 The Baptist Missionary Society is founded
1790s The modern missionary movement begins. Christianity spreads throughout the world.
1799 The Church Missionary Society (Anglican) is founded
1804 The British and Foreign Bible Society is founded
1807 The missionary Robert Morrisson sails to China. Afterwards Christianity spreads in China.
1807-1874 Phoebe Palmer the evangelist lives
1813-73 David Livingstone the explorer and missionary lives
1816 The American Bible Society is founded
1820-1915 Fanny Crosby the hymn writer lives
C. 1830 The Industrial Revolution spreads to France, Germany and the USA
1833 onwards John Keble and John Newman lead the Oxford Movement (So called because it began at Oxford University. Members of the movement were also called Tractarians because they wrote tracts).
1832-1905 The missionary Hudson Taylor lives
1834-92 C. H. Spurgeon the preacher lives
1837-1899 D. L. Moody the American evangelist lives
1844-1924 Maria Woodworth-Etter the evangelist lives
1846 The Evangelical Alliance is founded
1861-1865 The American Civil War is fought
1865 The Salvation Army is founded. (It gets its name in 1878).
1871 The Church of England is disestablished in Ireland
1877 Anglican missionaries reach Uganda
St Marys Church in Fratton
1890-1944 Aimee Semple McPherson the evangelist lives
1898-1963 C S Lewis the Christian writer lives
1904-05 The Welsh Revival
c. 1906 The Pentecostal Movement is founded
1914-1918 The First World War is fought
1918 Billy Graham is born
1920 The Church of England is disestablished in Wales
1934 The Wycliffe Bible Translators are founded
1939-1945 The Second World War is fought
1948 The World Council of Churches is founded
1968 Martin Luther King is assassinated
1970s The first 'house' churches or charismatic churches are formed. In England the Alpha Course is invented.
1994 The Church of England begins to ordain women priests
2011 The number of Christians in China is growing rapidly (as reported by the BBC)
A timeline of the Bible
A timeline of Christianity in England