Worshipped by 2 billion Christians (and revered by 1.3 billion Muslims), Jesus Christ is the most famous human being ever. Yet how did this man from an obscure backwater in the Roman Empire achieve such extraordinary acclaim? How did religion founded in his name grom to become the most powerful on earth? What has been its relationship through history with that other giant of religions, Islam? In this fast-paced and entertaining book, journalist and historian Stephen Tomkins sets out to provide the answers. Beginning with the life of Jesus, he presents a warts-and-all portrait of the key people, events and movements in Christian history. For every debauched pope, murderous crusader and hate-filled inquisitor, there are glorious examples of heroic self-sacrifice, spiritual enlightenment and social transformation. Despite setbacks and conflict, the church has continued to change and grow, with the result that, at the start of the 21st century, its centre of gravity is moving south into sub-Saharan Africa and South America. The author ends by looking to the future, for the story is far from over. All those wanting to understand where Christianity is going need to learn where it has come from, and in this book they will find a lively and informative guide.