The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Evangelicalism, evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide, transdenominational movement within Protestant Christianity which maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ's atonement. Evangelicals believe in the centrality of the conversion or "born again" experience in receiving salvation, in the authority of the Bible as God's revelation to humanity, in spreading the Christian message; the movement has had a long presence in the Anglosphere before spreading further afield in the 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries. Its origins are traced to 1738, with various theological streams contributing to its foundation, including English Methodism, the Moravian Church, German Lutheran Pietism. Preeminently, John Wesley and other early Methodists were at the root of sparking this new movement during the First Great Awakening. Today, evangelicals are found across many Protestant branches, as well as in various denominations not subsumed to a specific branch.
Among leaders and major figures of the evangelical Protestant movement were John Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Billy Graham, Bill Bright, Harold John Ockenga, John Stott and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The movement gained great momentum during the 18th and 19th centuries with the Great Awakenings in Great Britain and the United States. In 2016, there were an estimated 619 million evangelicals in the world, meaning that one in four Christians would be classified as evangelical; the United States has the largest concentration of evangelicals in the world. American evangelicals are a quarter of the nation's population and its single largest religious group. In Great Britain, evangelicals are represented in the Methodist Church, Baptist communities, among evangelical Anglicans; some evangelical Christian denominations are grouped together in the World Evangelical Alliance. The word evangelical has its etymological roots in the Greek word for "gospel" or "good news": εὐαγγέλιον euangelion, from eu "good", angel- the stem of, among other words, angelos "messenger, angel", the neuter suffix -ion.
By the English Middle Ages, the term had expanded semantically to include not only the message, but the New Testament which contained the message, as well as more the Gospels, which portray the life and resurrection of Jesus. The first published use of evangelical in English was in 1531, when William Tyndale wrote "He exhorteth them to proceed in the evangelical truth." One year Sir Thomas More wrote the earliest recorded use in reference to a theological distinction when he spoke of "Tyndale his evangelical brother Barns". During the Reformation, Protestant theologians embraced the term as referring to "gospel truth". Martin Luther referred to the evangelische Kirche to distinguish Protestants from Catholics in the Roman Catholic Church. Into the 21st century, evangelical has continued in use as a synonym for Protestant in continental Europe, elsewhere; this usage is reflected in the names of Protestant denominations, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
In the English-speaking world, evangelical was applied to describe the series of revival movements that occurred in Britain and North America during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Christian historian David Bebbington writes that, "Although'evangelical', with a lower-case initial, is used to mean'of the gospel', the term'Evangelical', with a capital letter, is applied to any aspect of the movement beginning in the 1730s." According to the Oxford English Dictionary, evangelicalism was first used in 1831. The term may be used outside any religious context to characterize a generic missionary, reforming, or redeeming impulse or purpose. For example, the Times Literary Supplement refers to "the rise and fall of evangelical fervor within the Socialist movement". One influential definition of evangelicalism has been proposed by historian David Bebbington. Bebbington notes four distinctive aspects of evangelical faith: conversionism, biblicism and activism, noting, "Together they form a quadrilateral of priorities, the basis of Evangelicalism."Conversionism, or belief in the necessity of being "born again", has been a constant theme of evangelicalism since its beginnings.
To evangelicals, the central message of the gospel is justification by faith in Christ and repentance, or turning away, from sin. Conversion differentiates the Christian from the non-Christian, the change in life it leads to is marked by both a rejection of sin and a corresponding personal holiness of life. A conversion experience can be emotional, including grief and sorrow for sin followed by great relief at receiving forgiveness; the stress on conversion differentiates evangelicalism from other forms of Protestantism by the associated belief that an assurance of salvation will accompany conversion. Among evangelicals, individuals have testified to both gradual conversions. Biblicism is a high regard for biblical authority. All evangelicals believe in biblical inspiration, though they disagree over how this inspiration should be defined. Many evangelicals believe in biblical inerrancy, while other evangelicals believe in biblical infallibility. Crucicentrism is the centrality that evangelicals give to the Atonement, the saving death and resurrection of Jesus, that offers forgiveness of sins and new life.
This is understood most in terms of a substitutionary atonement, in which Christ died as a substitute for sinful humanity by takin
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
House church (China)
In China, house churches or family churches are Christian assemblies in the People's Republic of China that operate independently from the state-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement and China Christian Council, came into existence due to the change in religious policy after the end of the Cultural Revolution in the early-1980s. While these groups are sometimes described as "underground churches", this term is associated with Catholic assemblies who have chosen to operate independently from the state-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and the Bishops Conference of Catholic Church in China. K. H. Ting, one of the key leaders of the TSPM and the CCC for many years, did not like the term "house church" and preferred to use the term "house gathering"; this was because he found designations such as "house church" and "official church" as returning to the pre-Cultural Revolution practice of denominationalism. Some scholars prefer to use terms such as "unregistered church" to speak about the Protestant phenomenon, because these groups can reach several hundred and do not always meet in someone's home.
Others suggest the need to discard the "house church" vs. "TSPM church" dichotomy as there is a lot that blurs these divisions, including the relationship between the two groups themselves. Moreover, as a result of the rapid urbanization of China since the 1990s, there has been a growing development within urban Christianity; some congregations have preferred to self-identify as being part of a "third church" to differentiate from both traditional house churches and TSPM churches. After the Communist Party established the People's Republic of China in 1949, there was a lot of uncertainty for all religions. During this period, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement would be established for Protestants to declare their patriotism and support of the new government. However, by the time of the Cultural Revolution, all public religious practice came to an end. Due to the changes in religious policy after the end of the Cultural Revolution, in 1980, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement would be reinstated and the China Christian Council would be formed.
Protestant congregations that wished to worship publicly registered with the TSPM, but those that did not would be termed house churches. Since the 1990s, a number of developments have resulted from the rapid urbanization experienced in Chinese society. While house churches originated as being quite independent of one another, a number of house church networks have developed, with some headquartered in Henan and Zhejiang provinces; these networks have sent missionaries all over the country and have started sending them abroad to neighboring states. The rapid urbanization has resulted in migration to China's urban centers and the rise of urban house churches; some of these have developed through migrant worker communities and university students. Other new communities can be seen among urban intellectuals and entrepreneurs, the latter termed "boss Christians". House churches in China are considered illegal, yet smaller house churches of less than 25 members tend to be tolerated by the government.
However, some have grown to a large size, such as the Shouwang Church which reached 1,000 members at its height. House churches today still experience persecution, though the situation tends to differ depending on the region. Scholars such as American political scientist Carsten T. Vala and Italian sociologist Massimo Introvigne. Argue that house churches are subject to "selective persecution" when they cross some "red lines," which include, apart from size, rapid growth, active proselytization, the attempt to form national networks, contacts with foreign Christian organization, criticism of the government. House churches may choose to operate by joining the state-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement. However, during the 1950s, the TSPM was used by the government to oppress churches throughout China. While this legacy itself is problematic, joining the TSPM would result in restrictions such as limiting the times and the locations for religious activities; the first Pentecostal missionaries arrived in China shortly after the Azusa Street Revival as part of groups such as the Christian and Missionary Alliance, the China Inland Mission, the Pentecostal Missionary Union, the Assemblies of God.
These groups would be instrumental in inspiring the creation of indigenous Pentecostal groups, such as the True Jesus Church and the Jesus Family. Today, Chinese house churches are described as being Pentecostal or charismatic; this is the case due to the experience of miraculous healing. According to some surveys, 90% of converts to Protestant Christianity, in both house churches and TSPM churches, cite healing as a reason for their conversion. However, a number of scholars have attempted to reconsider this description, using phrases such as "Pentecostal-like" or "Pentecostal characteristics" to indicate this ambiguity; the Assemblies of God theologian Simon Chan argues that "an adequate definition of Pentecostalism cannot be restricted to phenomenological description" – that is, based on experiences. Chan continues to explain that classical Pentecostal beliefs such as Spirit-baptism and initial evidence are not prevalent in Chinese churches, when compared with miraculous healing. Edmond Tang has pointed out that only a few groups, like the True Jesus Church and the Jesus Family, can trace themselves back to missionaries coming from Pentecostal denominat