A Timeline of Christianity

By Tim Lambert

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 Emperor Nero persecutes Christians in Rome. (He blames them for a fire that devastated Rome).

C. 67 AD Paul is martyred.

125-202 Irenaeus Bishop of Lyons and a Christian writer lives

c.150-c.215 Clement of Alexandria the theologian lives

155 Polycarp is martyred

c. 160-220 Tertullian the Christian writer lives

165 Justin Martyr the Christian apologist is martyred

c. 180 The first evidence of Christianity in Britain

c. 185-254 The 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

380 The Emperor Theodosius makes Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire

381 The Council of Constantinople meets

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

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 Englishman 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 becomes 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 Skotkonung, King of Sweden converts to Christianity and his people follow

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 The theologian Thomas Aquinas 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 separate

1452-1498 The Italian reformer Girolamo Savonarola lives

1457 The Moravians are founded

1488 A crusade is launched against the Waldensians. It fails.

1492 Christopher Columbus sails across the Atlantic

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

1541 John Knox begins the Reformation in Scotland

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 burns 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

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.

1666 The Great Fire of London

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

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 famous 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

1780 The Industrial Revolution begins to transform life in Britain

1792 The Baptist Missionary Society is founded

The 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 Morrison sails to China. Afterward, 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

From 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

1890-1944 Aimee Semple McPherson the evangelist lives

1898-1963 C S Lewis the Christian writer lives

1904-05 The Welsh Revival takes place

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

The 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

2015 The number of Christians in China is growing

A stained glass window of the nativity