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For its first three centuries Christianity was often a persecuted sect of Judaism, but this changed rapidly in 322 CE when Constantine the Great became Roman emperor and established Christianity as the official state religion. From here onwards the religion has been in various ways linked with national and empire states, although Protestantism and the enlightenment blurred the connections in many countries as the call for disestablishment and democracy took hold.

During the seventeenth to twentieth century European expansion into the New World, missionaries took Christianity, along with western culture, and whole native populations were baptised into the faith. Following independence in the twentieth century, many of these native Churches have now developed their own style and emphasis, often mixing with earlier local religions to form hybrid new sects or denominations of the Christian faith. Those that continued in the format given by the missionaries however have often retained the Victorian values of that time, while their ‘mother’ churches in the West have become more liberal in outlook. This has sometimes led to rifts between the two, particularly within the Anglican communion, and especially concerning the ordination of women and issues of gender and sexuality.

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